Shimla: A dilapidated built up structure on a small plot being used as a nighttime shelter by an insane Gorkha, fetched a whopping price Rs 1.86 crore when it went under the hammer on Sunday afternoon.
Beating recessionary trends elsewhere, property prices in this land scare hill resort appreciated more than a couple of notches after Himachal Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) closed the record bid for an 250 square meter plot in New Shimla locality.
â€œThis is perhaps the highest prices that a plot of that size has ever fetched here,â€ said Rajnish Khimta, who was present at the auction. Owning a home in Shimla did attract the powerful and rich during British days but given todayâ€™s record one can say that the rich still fancy a cottage in the hills, he added.
On a reserved price of Rs 47 lakhs, the opening bid for plot No D -13 started at Rs 58 lakhs and quickly climbed up to over Rs 1 crore. Of the 25 bidders that participated in the auction, the hammer fell to Delhi resident Sunil Kukerajaâ€™s call at Rs 1.86 crore about half an hour after the floor was opened for bidding.
Whereas the price of Rs 74,400 per square meter for Shimla is a new record, said Amarjit Singh, a property dealer adding, â€œbut considering that one is only allowed a built up area of 119 square meters on this plot, the price of per meter for built up area turns out to be Rs 1,56,302/-.â€
On learning about the high bid, Ramesh Chauhan, who lives in the neighbourhood of D -13 said, â€œan insane Gorkha has been living on this expensive piece of real estate for the last 15 years.â€
In all only two plots were sold at the Sunday auction. For the other small plot of 120 square meters, the bid closed at Rs 41.40 lakhs.
The locality happens to be one of the few places in the state where free sale and purchase of property is allowed because in rest of Himachal the government has a binding in place under the HP Land Reforms and Tenancy Act, 1972 that forbids free sale and purchase of land, especially that of rural and agricultural lands.
â€œSuch an high bid was an eye opener about prevailing land prices,â€ said an senior officer who was present during the bidding process but did not wish to be named.
â€˜Not only would this be treated as the new benchmark for future land deals but even prices in the grey market, which is not a secret as benami deals continue to rule the roost, would also be re-priced,â€ said the officer.