Decoding the great Indian luxury housing story
NEW DELHI: Luxury housing in India is the proverbial sitting duck for Indian residential property sector. Maybe the fact that there are a lot of wealthy people in a country with so much poverty strikes some as an aberration, rather than a reason for pride. Nevertheless, it is a hard fact that within the Asia Pacific region, India has the fourth-largest population of millionaires with around 2.36 lakh individuals who fall firmly in the high net worthcategory. Hereis decoding the luxury story in real estate: These are the people who buy or build homes which fall squarely in the super-luxury category of housing. Their homes can be found in every major city’s ritziest locations, towering over the rooftops of older buildings in the priciest areas of land-starved cities like Mumbai, or in serene estates sprawled across generous acres of prime land in cities like Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. Taking a broader market per- spective, luxury housing in India refers to the category of homes which are bought by people who do not necessarily come from ‘old wealth’ but have often managed to rise above the ‘middle class’ median by dint of entrepreneurial success, savvy investments, sheer hard work - or, in some cases, financial windfalls. They represent the nouveau riche category of Indians who are on the lookout for housing which gives them a great lifestyle and also reflects their success in life.
In India, luxury or premium housing , as opposed to superluxury housing - is the category of homes which caters to this demand.
The buyers of such housing are often in their late 40s or early 50s and still quite active professionally. Often having earned their money the hard way, they may not be willing to cough up massive premiums for snobvalue addresses. They do prefer locations which offer quick connectivity to their places of work. When India witnessed its IT boom, it quickly became evident that software companies saw sense in setting up shop in areas with lower land rates or lease rentals.Developers were quick to identify this opportunity and began churning out premium housing projects around IT hubs, giving rise to an entirely new crop of luxury locations which derived their value from performance rather than from snob value.
Today, luxury housing in India is still very much a work in progress, but the segment has made giant strides in transforming and keeping pace with the rising expectations of the wellheeled and well-travelled in terms of global standards of luxury and comfort.