THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When K Dileep set out to buy a residential plot, the effect of his ‘techie’ tag more than surprised him.
“The price brokers originally quoted was Rs 2.5 lakh for a cent. But when I reached the spot, they said that it was Rs 4.5 lakh for a cent. The sudden hike was only because I was a techie. The general notion is that techies won’t bargain and have more than enough money with them. Few know that less than 15 per cent of the techies have high salaries,” Dileep says.
This is not an isolated case. Techies wishing to buy a residential plot within a 5-km radius of Kazhakkoottam face tough times.
According to a real estate broker in the area, the real price of plots is Rs 8-9 lakh in Kazhakkoottam, while most land owners ask for Rs 10-15 lakh for a cent. For plots 5 km away from Technopark, the actual prices range between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, while the land owners will ask for Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh a cent.
“Yes, we do ask a little more if the buyer is a techie. It is because he would be ready to buy the land,” he adds.
If a techie buys land for a higher price, the rate of nearby plots will naturally go up. Also, the brokers will present the area as a residential area of techies to hike the amount.
Dileep believes techies who reach Thiruvananthapuram after a stint in the metros are the major ‘culprits’ behind the hike. “They compare the rates with those in metros and feeling that it is a fair deal, would not go for bargaining,” says Dileep.
After a lull during the recession, the real estate sector in the Kazhakkoottam area is witnessing a boom again. Since the prices are too high at Kazhakkoottam, the residential hotspots opted by techies are Trippadapuram, Kariavattom and Pullanivila areas.
According to Binu Louis, another techie, Menamkulam, Manvila, Akkulam and Pullanivila are the most-preferred residential areas. “Techies go for plots of 5-10 cents,” he adds.
Binu feels the property sales are active nowadays after the lull during the recession.
The house rental scene is no different. Techies accuse the local people of fixing high rents. An amount of 3-6 months’ rent is charged as advance.
The rent starts from Rs 2,000-5,000 for a one-bedroom house, while Rs 2,000 extra will be charged for every additional room. For an apartment, the rate is even higher.
In an online discussion, Rajesh C, also a techie, states: “The moment we say we work in Technopark, they would hike Rs 1,000.”
Rajesh too points his fingers at techies coming from metros for creating such a notion among the local people.
“Bachelors too are ready to share Rs 2,000 with their fellow roommates, which makes the rent touch Rs 8,000 and more,” he says.