Driven by changing buyer preferences in the wake of pandemic-induced challenges, both independent homes and independent floors are seeing a surge in demand, particularly in cities where the availability of land is not a limiting factor.
According to a recent Square Yards report, independent homes are once again in vogue with a 27% share of the total property searches across the top six cities. Southern cities, namely Hyderabad and Bengaluru, lead the searches with about 42% demand each for independent homes in the cities during the Jan-Mar 2022 quarter.
Similar is the case with independent floors. For instance, Gurugram and Faridabad — Haryana’s top cities — are seeing a major housing market trend reversal, with independent floors gaining traction post the pandemic, as per ANAROCK Research.
Santhosh Kumar, Vice Chairman, ANAROCK Group, says, “Gurugram saw a significant change in housing demand trends after the second wave, and independent floors became very popular. Developers have been responding to this demand and have been launching this product with a lot of enthusiasm.”
Last year, independent floors accounted for over a 40% of the total housing supply in Gurugram and Faridabad. This typology is not new in these two cities, and there was demand even before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, the desire for safer independent living after this health crisis has boosted demand for independent floors. Also, the Haryana government’s Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojna scheme permits developers to build and individually sell up to four floors of independent flats. This configuration has, therefore, become popular with players who have sufficient land, and they are now looking to get the right licenses required to develop independent floor properties,” adds Kumar.
Another factor that makes independent floors attractive to developers is the fact that they have a much faster turnaround time than high-rises. The possession time is also faster, so independent floors can be monetised quickly.
Developers say given the changing demographics of big metro cities, the real estate markets have also seen variable shifts in buyers’ preferences in favour of one or other asset classes. Similarly, the service class population, which is continuously rising in major regions like the NCR, is choosing to invest in Independent Floors and Low-Density Living. No wonder, sales of independent floors and low-rise apartments have witnessed a two-fold increase in recent months and their demand is at an all-time high.
Independent floors are basically single residential units on each floor, mostly in low-rise apartments within the precincts of a gated, secure society. The spacious designs and assurance of maximised privacy levels have attracted the service-class gentry to the independent floor format houses.
Nayan Raheja, Director, Raheja Developers, says, “Independent floors provide a sense of discretionary isolation, privacy, large space occupancy, and the luxury to build a quality life. There is a prevalent attitude among buyers today to escape the city noise and commotion and live a peaceful lifestyle, which is evidently possible in independent floor apartments. It is seen as an affordable and value-based investment that does not cost an arm and a leg.”
Pushpender Singh, Managing Director, JMS Group, observes, “Post-pandemic, independent floors reported an enormous increase in customer demand. Sales have gone up, most of them from the service class people. Independent floors have become a top-choice investment for those who want a comfortable, luxurious living as they are bigger in size, whether it’s bedrooms, halls, kitchens, or balconies. It promotes a choice of voluntary intermingling, and at the same time, people do not need to compromise their privacy.”
The propensity of buyers to invest in independent floors has more likely to do with a tilt toward low-density living. Post-Covid, people choose to live in low-rise buildings with a lesser population coiled with better amenities.
Vikas Garg, Deputy Managing Director, MRG World, says, “Investments in independent floors is tantamount to a serene, peaceful living with roomy spaces to lead a great family life. It has been at the top of the radar for both joint and nuclear families looking for permanent settlement in any part of the NCR region. It is affordable, unlike other assets, the prices of which have shot up since the last few months.”
Harpal Singh Chawla, Director, Spaze Group, says, “The remarkable sales figures of independent floors show the increasing financial sustainability and competence of the service class population. There has been an immense growth in the economic prudence and asset investments of the service class people, especially in the NCR region. Independent floors are a naturally-preferable option for nuclear families with kids who want a larger space to build a home and live over there.”
The predilection of the service class people towards independent floors can also be attributed to the plethora of luxurious amenities provided such as high-end secure features, EV stations, 24/7 water & power supply, premium clubhouse, Amphitheatre, swimming pool and a range of commercial and retail shops within the gated community.
Ansh Batra, Director, Buniyad Group, says, “Independent floors are much sought-after property in the sphere of realty today. While on the demand side it is driven by a desire for an independent lifestyle as well as an increase in income, on the supply side, it has much to do with developers offering hassle-free ‘see-select-pay-and-move-in’ options. Combined together, both these factors have significantly contributed to this upsurge, especially after the pandemic, making independent floors one of the top-selling assets in the residential markets. Even the service class people have not been left unaffected by this trend, and they are turning out to be its takers especially in the outer regions of Delhi and NCR.”
Another remarkable thing about independent floors being that previously, it was largely local builders who constructed independent floors, but now even branded developers such as DLF Ltd, M3M, Trehan, Signature Global, BPTP and Raheja are active in this segment.