Monthly archives "December 2014"

The luxury Housing Segment – A wealth of opportunity for both developers & buyers

Rise above the necessary and then above the premium. When you have done that, you are in the lap of luxury. The luxury connotation varies at an individual level; and its perceived value varies with one’s specific needs and aspirations. Luxury living involves creating an overall experience that not just meets the expectations of customers but attempts to exceed it. In India, luxury housing has picked up the most in the luxury segment. Modern homes today pack features that meet the growing aspirations of people who want their houses to reflecttheir social and financial standing. Depending upon the city and suburb, these come as apartments, penthouses, suburban villas and bungalows, and are often close to a golf course or a green expanse. Industry experts attribute the rise in luxury housing projects to the over-supply in the premium segment during the 2008 economic slowdown.

Luxury and ultra-luxury residential projects in leading cities have witnessed ten-fold appreciation over their launch prices, over the last decade. Cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, NOIDA and Chennai, have been topping the charts in the luxury housing segment. This implies that there have been more than 100 per cent annual returns on investment. In fact, there has been a tremendous response to these projects; so much so that most of the projects are declared sold-out in a very short span of time. The response in cities like Gurgaon, where demand has outpaced supply, has encouraged developers to shift their focus to this segment due to high profit margins and good volumes that help in securing significant fund flows, to capitalise on the completion of their projects. Tier-II cities such as Ahmedabad and Lucknow have also shown encouraging market developments under this segment. The areas adjacent to the NCR such as Noida offer locational advantage coupled with world class infrastructure.

From a customer and category viewpoint, luxury housing is projected to register maximum growth, owing to the increasing HNI (high networth individuals) population and growing aspirations of people, changing lifestyles and the affluent young with high disposable incomes looking for a luxury lifestyle. As per industry reports the sector is expected to give India a 13.9% of CAGR by 2028 and the HNI segment is expected to grow at 27% by 2017-18. Also luxury properties in India are highly discounted when compared to those in other parts of the world. Additionally, large number of NRIs who have completed their high paying tenures abroad are coming back to India every year and accelerating the growth of the luxury real estate market. The expected returns from investment in premium properties are higher in comparison to investments in bullion and stock markets. The luxury housing segment is also not prone to the ripple effect of recession as the target audience is not dependent on home loans but operates on the basis on net worth.

Most of the luxury housing projects typically entail a prime location with great access and a spectacular view. Additionally, top quality architecture & interior design, modern amenities, premium construction material, landscape design, concierge services and high-end security arrangements are vital elements of the package. Despite the high input costs, the developer enjoys visibility of his brand among highly affluent and top-end clients. The evolving mindset of the buyers is also changing the dynamics of ‘luxury homes’. While there is still a focus on spacious living, an increased emphasis on ‘smart home’ accouterments, high-end common amenities and technologically evolved security. These were certainly not the factors that went into the definition of luxury living a couple of decades back.

The luxury housing segment is undoubtedly a great promise for the buyers and sellers alike, and with the real estate sector witnessing some important and industry-friendly policy-making due to the new Govt.’s positive intent, the goods of the luxury housing segment are in the process of being realized and experienced.