A luxe come­back

With RERA and GST boost­ing in­ter­est among NRIs, new projects are be­ing launched in the lux­ury seg­ment

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - HT ESTATES - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­spe­cial­pro­jects@htlive.com

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.

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