The Com­fort of Home

The to­tal value of lux­ury homes in key In­dian cities touched $ 30 bil­lion be­tween 2008 and 2012. It can only grow.

India Today - - INSIDE - By M. G. Arun

Af­ter re­turn­ing to Kochi from an eight year as­sign­ment in Brus­sels, IT pro­fes­sional San­deep Menon wanted to in­vest in prop­erty that gave him easy ac­cess to his of­fice in Kaloor as well as a scenic lo­ca­tion to help him un­wind af­ter a hard day’s work. It also had to be close to his daugh­ter’s school, where his wife works as a teacher. He in­vested Rs 1.6 crore in a plush, fur­nished wa­ter­front flat near Vytilla, with im­ported wooden floors, branded faucets, a mod­u­lar kitchen and teak- wood doors. It has its perks. In the evenings, he finds time to work out at the so­ci­ety’s gym, and en­joys a steam bath twice a week. But what he cher­ishes most is an oc­ca­sional evening drink on his bal­cony over­look­ing the back­wa­ters. “If you dis­count the fre­quent power cuts, which is the bane of Ker­ala, life here is heav­enly,” he says.


As Kochi’s Menon proves, own­ing a lux­ury home is no longer the pre­rog­a­tive of the rich and fa­mous in the met­ros. High- net- worth in­di­vid­u­als ( HNIS) are mak­ing a bee­line for lux­ury homes with easy ac­cess to work and top- class ameni­ties, even in Tier- II cities such as Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahmed­abad and Pune. Cater­ing to this de­mand are de­vel­op­ers such as Lodha, Sun­teck, DB Realty, Ko­hi­noor, Sobha, DLF, Pu­ra­vankara, Pres­tige and Hi­ranan­dani. Prop­erty con­sul­tant Jones Lang LaSalle ( JLL) In­dia says the to­tal value of lux­ury homes in 2008- 2012, with 25,570 units on of­fer across Ban­ga­lore, Hyderabad, Pune,

NCR- Delhi, Mum­bai, Chen­nai and Kolkata, was around $ 30 bil­lion. Ex­perts say there is new de­mand for lux­ury and ul­tra- lux­ury homes with prices rang­ing from Rs 1 crore to Rs 20 crore, driven by new of­fer­ings, an in­flux of non- res­i­dent In­di­ans ( NRIS) and chang­ing life­styles. The value of lux­ury homes will be fu­elled by the pres­ence of around 153,000 HNIS. In cities like Mum­bai, some projects have even crossed the Rs 100- crore mark.


In Mum­bai, tra­di­tional lux­ury hous­ing hotspots stretch from south Mum­bai — cov­er­ing the golden tri­an­gle of Na­pean Sea, Al­ta­mount Road and Ped­dar Road— to Ban­dra, but this is be­ing sup­ple­mented by new properties on land that once be­longed to tex­tile mills in cen­tral Mum­bai, com­pris­ing Parel, Lower Parel, El­phin­stone Road and Worli. Con­sul­tants say south Mum­bai still re­mains twice as ex­pen­sive, with homes rang­ing be­tween Rs 60,000 and Rs 1.2 lakh per sq ft.

In Pune, where lux­ury homes are mov­ing be­yond the tra­di­tion­ally af­flu­ent lo­cal­i­ties of Aundh and Kore­gaon Park to NIBM, Pashan, Bavd­han and Baner, an in­flux of ex­pats, pro­fes­sion­als and GenNext of busi­ness fam­i­lies is cre­at­ing new de­mand. Un­der­stand­ably, this July, US ty­coon Don­ald Trump part­nered with Panchshil Realty to launch Trump Tow­ers that will house 44 con­do­mini­ums.

Delhi’s lux­ury hotspots on Prithvi­raj Road, Am­rita Shergil Road, Shanti Nike­tan and Ak­bar Road are homes to in­dus­tri­al­ists and NRIS. ITC Chair­man Y. C. Devesh­war re­port­edly bought a 650 sq yd plot in Shanti Nike­tan for Rs 85 crore, tak­ing the rates to over Rs 10 lakh per sq yd. In Gur­gaon, so­ci­eties such as Aralias and Mag­no­lias cost Rs 25,000 to Rs 32,000 per sq ft. In June, Go­drej Properties an­nounced their en­try into NCR with a lux­ury pro­ject in Okhla. “NCR is key to our growth. We be­lieve this pro­ject’s lo­ca­tion will help grow our pres­ence in the re­gion,” said Piro­jsha Go­drej, MD and CEO of Go­drej Properties.

In Ban­ga­lore, the up­mar­ket Sadashiv Na­gar is priced around Rs 18,000 per sq ft, and of­fers mostly vil­las or bun­ga­lows. Of other pre­mium ar­eas, Sankey Road is rated at Rs 20,000 to Rs 26,000 per sq ft, and Lavelle Road at Rs 18,000 to Rs 24,000 per sq ft.

In Chen­nai, pre­mium properties, priced at Rs 20,000 per sq ft, are com­ing up near Boat Club Road. In Kochi, the lux­ury realty mar­ket is boom­ing in lo­cal­i­ties such as Vytilla, The­vara, Kaloor, Edap­pally and Ka­da­van­thra.


Ex­perts say high pre- sale ac­tiv­ity in lux­ury projects in­di­cates the sec­tor is grow­ing. “In met­ros— Mum­bai, Del­hiNCR and Ban­ga­lore— lux­ury and ul­traluxe projects have seen ten­fold rise over launch prices in the last decade, a more- than- 100 per cent an­nual re­turn on in­vest­ment,” San­tosh Kumar of JLL said in a note in July. How­ever, not ev­ery­one is up­beat. “The lux­ury seg­ment holds great po­ten­tial,” says Mu­das­sir Zaidi of prop­erty con­sul­tant Knight Frank In­dia. “But with the bleak global eco­nomic sce­nario, trans­ac­tions are slow.”


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