Space for luxury
Affordable homes continue to be drivers of growth, but luxury projects have their own potential depending on the target groups. However, both have their own space in the market.
Last year, affordable housing was a major buzzword across the real estate sector. This year too, affordable housing continues to drive growth. According to Uzma Irfan, Director, Corporate Communications, Prestige Group, “About 41 per cent of the demand for residential properties in Bangalore is for those in the sub-Rs 40 lakh category, while it is 26 per cent for those in the Rs 40-75 lakh range, according to a three-month survey by a real estate portal.”
Also, Irfan explains that given the huge housing shortage in the country, there is an immense opportunity for developments in the affordable and mass housing segment. The government’s recent measures are also an indication to the sector that they should start focusing on affordable housing or take initiatives to make houses affordable for the masses. With interest rates coming down on small loans and steel, cement prices going down, it is now possible for developers to launch affordable housing projects. It will also guarantee assured sales and upfront cash flows at a time when the market’s looking up, Irfan explains.
Luxury has its own takers†
But, this does not mean that developers are shying away from launching premium and luxury projects.
Take for instance, Prestige Group’s Prestige Acropolis and Prestige Ozone. Or Golfshire, for example. Set against the picturesque Nandi Hills, Golfshire is spread across 275 sprawling acres. The property comes complete with ultra-luxurious mansions,† a 300-bed 5-star hotel, named the Hilton and a private lake and the piece de resistance – an 18 hole, championship-sized golf course. Then, there is Prestige White Meadows. Comprising 214 sky villas in four high rise towers of up to 27 floors and 66 villas, this project is meant for those who love premium living.
The independent bungalows, ranging across 5576 – 6219 sq.ft. are three-storeyed edifices set in a scenic streetscape. The residential towers offer a choice of single level, duplex, triplex and pent house with areas ranging between 6651 – 12066 sq. ft.
Tata Housing, which is well-known across the realty sector for its affordable, low-cost homes, also recently announced the launch of ‘Eden Court – Primo’, a first of its kind luxury housing project at New Town, Rajarhat in Kolkata. The project consists of two high rise towers with a sky garden offering 3 & 4 BHK premium apartments starting at Rs 3950 per sq.ft with a minimum size of 1732 sq ft.
Speaking at the launch of Eden Court - Primo, Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Housing said he was confident that the project will become a new landmark and benchmark at Rajarghat.
According to Kunal Banerji, President, M3M India Limited, “Developers are launching luxury homes as the segment is witnessing signals of an upswing in demand. Luxury homes are targeted towards high-net-worth individuals. The market has seen a rise in the aspiration levels of consumers in India which is a major factor propelling the growth in the luxury realty segment. As the economy grows and families are earning double income salaries, there is a huge demand for luxury projects.”
His firm recently announced their foray into boutique realty.
†M3M India Ltd. has recently won an award at the prestigious NRI summit 2010 held at Dubai for its golf estate project as the ‘Best Upcoming Project of India’ because of the project’s architectural excellence and its unique features. The project is stated to be one of the finest luxury real estate offerings for the Indian audience.
Premium projects, for whom?
But, are there any takers for these premium and luxury projects?† Explains Irfan, “Over the years, the Indian economy has transitioned and so have the lifestyles of the Indian home-buyer. High end homes have today evolved into a statement among the discerning consumer.
“Such homes are not just about pricing but the result of several qualities, starting with the aesthetics to the amenities to signature styles and so on. Also, the luxury homes segment is largely resilient to market conditions as it is a question of individuals investing their own equity.”
Agrees M3M’s Kunal Banerji. “There are takers for the premium and luxury projects and the demand is high in urban metros like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. The HN1s, NRIs, the corporates and the IT professionals are the takers of such properties,” he explains.