Villa Developments see a surge in Gurgaon

An important factor that fuelled the ambition to live an extravagant life was the exposure to international trends and lifestyles through the media explosion from the mid-80s onwards. It triggered higher aspirations among vast sections of the Indian populace, including the nouveau riche. Watching the uber-rich in foreign destinations, India’s elite aspired to lead luxurious lifestyles themselves. The aspirations inevitably spawned the rise of luxury homes, including villas, across the country with strong footprint in cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Gurgaon, among others.

Over the past decade, however, Gurgaon has stolen a march over other metros in developing luxury homes. Today, villas are the epitome of desire with developers in Gurgaon at the forefront of premium developments, replete with world-class features and facilities.

Gurgaon’s demand is fueled by the fact that the Millennium City hosts most Fortune 500 companies and Indian blue chips. Their head honchos naturally wish to live in the best places money can buy. Presently, the prime destinations for luxury developments are Golf Course Road and Golf Course Extension. Fast-rising locales such as Sohna Road and New Gurgaon also offer luxury habitats.

Although the real estate market has been impacted by the general economic slowdown after 2008, the luxury segment seems impervious to these uncertainties. In fact, the luxury housing segment has seen steady price appreciation recently. This is because the target group for luxury villas are HNIs (high net-worth individuals), NRIs, expats and other sections of the super-rich. Being financially secure, such individuals do not depend upon loans, but on the power of their net worth. Rather than being a deterrent, high prices are a means for them to flaunt their edge and add to the overall exclusivity of the address. Price tags of such villas are in the multi-crore rupee domain.

As India’s GDP growth improves, the rise in the luxury segment is slowly surpassing that of 2008, with Gurgaon reportedly registering 20-25 per cent growth. A KPMG report states luxury has been the fastest-growing segment in residential housing. Not surprisingly, around 182 luxury projects worth $30 billion were launched in seven top cities between 2008 and 2012.

For luxury offerings, the key factors buyers note are the developer’s brand and credibility, the location, recreational facilities as well as the quality of fittings and furnishings, among other things. Many projects are villas-only gated communities replete with 24×7 security systems. Most villas typically have four or five bedrooms, a lounge zone, terrace gardens, plunge pools and private elevators in case of multiple stores. Select developers even offer internal accessories and devices with smart technologies based upon trends and latest innovation. World-class designs and lush landscaping are also a part of the course, in some cases via tie-ups with international architects.

Developers of luxury villas are confident that the premium market will go from strength to strength. An Ernst & Young and Kotak Wealth Management report reveals ultra-high net-worth individuals are expected to triple to 343,000 by 2018-19 from 117,000 in 2013-14. There is no reason to doubt that the luxury villa segment is bound to burgeon because increasing number of Indians display an irresistible desire to own their own piece of land with their individual patch of green which is embellished and accessorized with the best features, fittings and facilities – a demand India’s luxury developers are eager to fulfill.

About P. Sahel

As Vice Chairman of Lotus Greens, Sahel is responsible for giving directions on overall business strategy and key investments decisions of the firm. Being one of the founding members of Lotus Greens, Sahel has been instrumental in formulating various company policies, setting up systems and processes, and building a strong team of professionals. Prior to Lotus Greens, Sahel worked for more than 16 years in some of India’s largest and most respected real estate companies like Jones Lang LaSalle for 13 years as the Managing Director of the Markets & Solution Development and DLF prior to that. The views expressed are personal

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