Luxury is becoming the new norm of living. This statement captures the essence of the ever evolving real estate market in India. What was luxury yesterday has become a necessity today. The high-ceiling ornate mansions surrounded by manicured lawns shaded by leafy oak trees, which spelt luxury in the colonial era, have given way to a more modern, urban culture of functional and elegant spaces defined by judicious use of design and materials.
Although, luxury real estate segment has diversified in terms of its offerings and features, certain aspects have not kept up pace with time. The concept of luxury living should revolve around the idea of quintessential living where accessibility meets luxury and class.
India is evolving as a luxury home ground owing to the emerging trend of high end investments in the sector. Global brands are betting on the country’s growth potential and are tying up with leading developers to design interiors for premium projects. Catering to a select class of home buyers, the segment is expected to grow rapidly supported by strong economic growth of the country.
Premium luxury can broadly be defined by five factors – credibility of the developer, quality of the product, proximity to transport hubs, the surrounding environment, and price. While quality, credibility and surroundings are constant across cities, luxury pricing varies sharply from city to city.
The Indian buyer today has exposure to high-quality lifestyle abroad and expects to replicate the same experience back home. Hence, they essentially choose projects that provide a sense of comfort, security, convenience and above all a sophisticated urban living experience. They want a place that adds value to their lifestyle and do not shy away from paying a premium value for it. This has contributed in fuelling the demand for high end, luxury homes across metropolitan cities.
What’s interesting is that the niche target group for the segment is not just the traditional wealthy but the ubiquitous affluent Gen Y which comprises of entrepreneurs, professionals and corporate honchos. These home buyers see luxury properties as their first choice for living and as a long term investment.
Developers who have entered the luxury segment have preferred constructing integrated townships rather than stand alone towers. People today opt for living in communities as it provides them superior living environment for themselves and their families. Many who are tech-savvy and environmentally conscious, look for homes with ‘smart’ and ‘green’ features in well-planned integrated townships with broad internal roads, walkable streets with footpaths, 24/7 utilities supply, public spaces, multi-level security and conveniences like shopping, entertainment, hospitals and schools within the community itself. Design plays a major role in creating a community.
Luxury real estate does not just mean exemplary facilities; it also symbolizes the quality of life it entails. The basic amalgamation of comfort and feasibility must be effortlessly met by superior quality of services and quintessential luxury concepts if they have to provide luxury living. Standalone luxury properties outside well planned townships do not truly offer luxurious living.
For a buyer, a luxury home is complete with a soothing and scintillating view from individual apartments. The window view offered by an apartment is an important value added aspect while choosing a luxury home. A luxurious project replete with specifications and amenities overlooking an aesthetically insignificant view will not have appeal amongst buyers. As they are investing in an experience, an unappealing view will fail to impress.
The key factor for luxury today is not just the quality of the apartment or building, but the quality of surrounding infrastructure. With this combination, coupled with the fact that such luxury products are priced very competitively in India as compared to prices across the globe, the Indian buyer today has high value proposition and a safe investment.
(The author is Surendra Hiranandani, CMD, House of Hiranandani)