IT-savvy Pune youth want smart homes

Prop­er­ties that sup­port a cy­ber-driven life­style are con­sid­ered hip

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - HT Es­tates Cor­re­spon­dent

Over the past two decades, Pune has seen rapid growth of the IT cul­ture. In the be­gin­ning, this cul­ture was limited to em­ploy­ees of the city’s many IT/ITES parks – to­day, it has touched al­most ev­ery­one who lives in Pune. The cy­ber rev­o­lu­tion in this city is in­escapable – those who do not own com­put­ers pop­u­late in­ter­net cafes. The cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of young peo­ple be­low age 30 is de­fined by com­puter savvi­ness, and th­ese are the peo­ple who will usher the city into the fu­ture. Nat­u­rally, this rev­o­lu­tion has had a very dis­tinct im­pact on the kinds of homes that younger peo­ple choose to buy to­day.

Whether they are work­ing in Pune’s in­nu­mer­able soft­ware com­pa­nies and IT- en­ables ser­vices fir ms or in some other sec­tor, the young home­buy­ers to­day have de­vel­oped their own cri­te­ria for what con­sti­tutes an ideal home. ‘Smart’ homes are now in vogue not only with IT/ITES em­ploy­ees – most young home buy­ers to­day con­sider prop­er­ties that sup­port a cy­ber-driven life­style very hip.

The high­est de­mand for smart homes in Pune stil still stems from peo­ple work­ing in soft­ware parks and IT com­pa­nies. This is largely be­cause of their ex­po­sure to IT-driven con­cepts, their size­able pay pack­ets and the fact that they have of­ten been trained or sta­tioned abroad and have been ex­posed to global res­i­den­tial con­cepts. Smart homes are not just an in­ter­est­ing vari­ant - they are by and large lux­ury of­fer­ings, and there is a pre­mium at­tached to homes with ‘smart’ fea­tures which varies ac­cord­ing to how many of th­ese fea­tures have been in­cluded in the project.

In the past, smart homes were con­sid­ered some­thing of a niche con­cept, ow­ing to the larger ticket sizes. The clien­tele that de­vel­op­ers ini­tially tar­geted with their smart homes projects was pri­mar­ily the higher- paid pro­fes­sion­als em­ployed in the city’s IT hubs. To­day, the tar­get au­di­ence has ex­panded a lot and in­cludes a larger sec­tion of gad­get-con­scious younger gen­er­a­tion of home buy­ers with a well-de­fined yen for au­to­mated homes. Fall­ing in the age group of 29-40, th­ese buy­ers tend to hold hold se­nior roles within the IT/ITES, man­u­fac­tur­ing or ser­vices sec­tors. Re­gard­less of ca­reer ori­en­ta­tion, they are upwardly mo­bile, highly as­pi­ra­tional and em­i­nently qual­i­fied for home loans.

Over and above be­ing a pre­mium of­fer­ing, smart homes are a means for those whose pro­fes­sions in­volve high lev­els of stress. For such pro­fes­sion­als, the com­forts, en­able­ment and se­cu­rity that smart homes of­fer are a means to re­lax and gen­er­ate more time to spend with their fam­i­lies. Smart homes of­fer tech­no­log­i­cal fea­tures wherein home owners can op­er­ate al­most any­thing in their homes (in­clud­ing lights, air con­di­tion­ers, se­cu­rity sys­tems, cur­tains and blinds) from within and even out­side at the touch or click of a but­ton. To­day, the smart home tech­nol­ogy uses user­friendly soft­ware that al­lows sim­pli­fied con­trol of cli­mate, light­ing, en­ter­tain­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The tech­nol­ogy in­volved im­pacts three key ar­eas – en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, se­cu­rity sys­tems and tele­com sys­tems.

Smart homes have a def­i­nite sta­tus value at­tached to them and tend to have higher re­sale value be­cause of their lo­ca­tions, which are ei­ther close to the city’s IT hubs or in up­scale ar­eas more or less de­fined by higher pur­chas­ing power and there­fore higher life­style as­pi­ra­tions. Ap­pre­ci­a­tion of such prop­er­ties is also in­flu­enced by the very na­ture of the fea­tures that make life sim­pler, safer, more com­fort­able and more ex­cit­ing, with the tech­nol­ogy be­ing read­ily up­graded.

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