Changing Dynamics of Luxury Housing in Indian Market
Gaurav Sawhney, President, Sales, and Marketing, Piramal Realty
There is a conscious shift in the definition of luxury homes today. Until early 2001, large houses with opulent amenities at popular pin code or prime address was perceived to be luxury but in the last few years’ it has been redefined with the advent of high-end technologies, international brand associations and customized offerings and that is showing strongly in the real estate space. There has been a complete transition in buyers’ perception when they invest in a property. An upgraded lifestyle closer to central business districts has decluttered the availability of luxury housing from a few restricted pin codes, making it location agnostic. Considering the huge influx of migrants and consistent rise in income levels, a comfortable residence is a necessity for working people. This has led to a blurring difference between luxury housing of the last decade and a necessity during current times giving way for developers to focus on Practical Luxury.
Luxury is no longer just about lavish living nor is it just an investment. It is connecting to the purpose driven millennials and high achieving consumers of today who see it as a reflection of their achievements, ambitions and taste. Given the high global exposure, consumers are well aware of international standards in design and development. Customers evaluating high-end developments, seek value for money. What matters to this group is a development with a good project layout, more open and green spaces, natural lighting and ventilation and needless to say, a trove of lifestyle amenities. Consequently, features such as swimming pools, balconies with expansive views, games room, gymnasium/recreational spaces etc. are now a part of the ‘expected product’ being offered to buyers. While affordability is a crucial factor, a well-designed house offering these tend to lure customers, that find merit in stretching their budget for a more luxurious experience. Privacy is increasingly becoming an important factor for luxury homebuyers. Today’s buyers seek out security features that allow remote monitoring of their homes. Automated application fitments to adjust light settings, control room temperature and audio-video systems within the house, remotely control air-conditioners by setting a pre-defined time for cooling, etc. all enhance security and lifestyle.
With Mumbai showing the largest demand for projects offering practical luxury, the following trends may redefine, luxury housing in near future.
- Functional Spaces: Given the high global exposure, consumers are well aware of international standards in design and development. They are giving way to larger houses and choosing smaller luxury homes offering smart design with maximum utilization of space and high-end amenities for a comfortable life. Some of the most in-demand features could be use of open kitchen with lavish living rooms, spa-like bathrooms, and multiuse rooms. There is a desire for customizable layouts to fit their needs.
- Millennials Embracing Technology in Real Estate: With every passing day, the popularity of IoT in the home automation technology is growing rapidly. More people have started adopting it for a hassle-free lifestyle. When compared one out of four Millennials (ages 24-35) think that the most essential element of a luxury home is “smart” technology. It’s no longer a “nice-to-have” for the home, as 25 percent of millennials have seven or more smart technology enabled products at their homes. Their older counterparts (ages 45-55) were not far behind with 35 percent of respondents having one to two pieces of smart technology-enabled products.
- Affluence to Conscious Living: The new age buyer is growing conscious to the environment and nature. There is growing trend of living in spaces that are sustainable with minimum impact on the environment. Use of integrated technologies that would conserve water and electricity with efficient garbage disposal mechanism and nature-friendly products could turn out to be an integral amenity in near future. The amenity list could be extended by use of Solar panels in and indoor air purification systems
- Enhanced connectivity: Considering the huge influx of migrants to urban areas, proximity to public transportation is one of the prime requirements of current generation. They prefer to living in locations offering developed physical and social infrastructure like restaurants, community gathering areas, and entertainment to lead a comfortable life.
These macroeconomic trends have created a positive impact on the demand for luxury housing as they create a higher incremental value in comparison to a product in the mid-segment. Buyers see their homes as a calling card and want their homes to reflect their financial and social status. Therefore, considering all these aspects, projects offering practical luxury continues to grow at a faster pace despite sluggish real estate market conditions.