A luxe comeback
With RERA and GST boosting interest among NRIs, new projects are being launched in the luxury segment
After a year of few new launches, especially in luxury housing, reforms like RERA, GST and demonetisation coupled with demand from NRI or non-resident Indian buyers is pushing some developers in metro cities such as Mumbai, Ben ga lu ru, Pu ne and Delhi-NCR to renew their focus on the luxe segment.
“For most of last year, luxury developers across these cities were focused on existing stock, as the effects of the regulatory changes were yet to be seen in terms of increased transparency, regulation, etc,” says Muddasir Zaidi, executive director of realty consultancy Knight Frank India.
“Now that these effects are beginning to be absorbed, and with prices looking to not drop further, we are seeing new projects launched.”
Since November, realty developers such as K Raheja Corp,
Highvalue consumers are riskaverse and, particularly for NRIs, having all the information about a project available at the click of a mouse has proved to be a confidencebooster.
VINOD ROHIRA, managing director for commercial real estate and REIT at Mumbai’s K Raheja Corp
Sheth Corp, Lodha Group and Piramal Realty have announced new launches with units in the luxury price bracket of Rs 6crore to Rs 14 crore.
“Prices in this segment have also not comedown, especially in premium regions like Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru,” says Raja Seetharaman, co-founder of Propstack, a real-estate data analytics and solutions firm.
Among the reasons for the renewed interest in luxury homes is the increased transparency resulting from the setting up of Real Estate Regulatory Authorities. “High-value consumers are risk-averse and, particularly for NRIs, having all the information about a project available at the click of a mouse has proved to be a confidencebooster,” says Vinod Rohira, managing director for commercial real estate and REIT at Mumbai’s K Raheja Corp, which will launch a new high-end luxury project in Worli and will also add to an existing project in Mahalaxmi.
“We have seen a 25% to 30% jump in inquiries for luxury homes from NRIs,” adds Maulik Sheth, director of Sheth Corp.
The group launched a luxury project in Mulund in November, and is expected to launch another in Thane later this year. “NRI interest is also driven by currency rates and sentiments about overall Indian economy,” says Zaidi.
Several other developers such as Radius Developers and the Lodha Group plan to launch high-end projects in Mumbai. Panchshil Realty will launch an 80-acre project with 168 luxury villas in Pune.
Bengaluru-based Total Environment Building Systems, a developer of high-quality and luxury homes, will launch pro- jects in Pune and Bengaluru this year.
“Towards the end of 2017, buyer sentiment has seen an upswing in these two cities, particularly among end-users,” says principal architect and chief executive Kamal Sagar, explaining the decision.
“Last year was good for equity markets,” says Zaidi. “At such times, there is a tendency to cash in the profits and invest in tangible assets, which we hope will also bring them back to real-estate this year,” he adds.