Despite plunging sales, demand for luxury homes booming

Despite plunging sales, demand for luxury homes booming Mumbai: Driven by new offerings, greater influx of NRIs and changing lifestyles, the demand for luxury and ultra-luxury homes with a price-tag of up to Rs 1-20 crore, or even more in some cases, is again making a comeback in the metros.

For instance, the per unit price at the under-construction World One Tower by Lodha Group in Central Mumbai has a price tag of up to Rs 50 crore.

Despite sluggishness in overall real estate sector, a few luxury residential projects were launched in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Chennai in October, according to a report by real estate consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

"Demand for luxury housing is growing gradually mainly due to the rise in the number of high networth individuals (HNIs), rapid pace of urbanisation, influx of global lifestyle trends and an increase in the number of NRIs," JLL research head Ashutosh Limaye said.

Also, the recent fall in the value of rupee in global financial markets boosted buyers' interest in investing in luxury housing and encouraged developers to launch luxury and super-luxury housing projects priced from Rs 1 crore and running up to Rs 20 crore, he said.

The total value of luxury homes, launched in 182 luxury residential apartments, offering a total of 25,570 units across the top seven cities of NCR-Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata in 2008-2012 was around USD 30 billion, the report said.

"The value of luxury homes will be fuelled by the presence of around 1.53 lakh HNIs whose numbers are growing at a fast rate, people who inherited wealth and have dynamic lifestyles, as well as those in the newly rich segment," Limaye said.

Lodha, Sunteck, Kohinoor Developers, Sobha, DLF, Hiranandani are some of the players who largely cater to the luxury residential segment.

"This is a market where there is demand for everything from affordable homes for MIG, LIG, as well as the economically weaker section and there is demand for luxury housing too.

"Changing lifestyles and rising income levels are driving the demand for luxury homes," the Bangalore-based Sobha Developers vice-chairman and managing director JC Sharma said.

Besides, NRIs who wish to return to the country look for homes which will have all the amenities and luxury they need, Sharma said.

To attract buyers, developers are trying out a variety of new products in the luxury housing segment, including Singaporean and American-style apartments, homes that are similar to plush hotels and branded luxury residences.

While Sunteck has tied-up with Disney Consumer Products to launch Disney Inspired Homes in its Goregaon project, Lodha has partnered with Giorgio Armani to design the apartments and villas in its ambitious project 'World One' touted as the world's tallest residential tower.

"We have been focusing only on luxury homes and have seen a growing demand for it. We recently launched our new project in Goregaon where the apartments are priced between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore. We have already been pre-sales here. This shows there is demand for luxury housing," Sunteck Realty chairman and managing director Kamal Khetan said.

Developers are also increasingly adding lifestyle amenities such as golf greens, schools, hypermarts, jogging tracks, independent swimming pools, complete home automation, modern clubs with exclusive members' lounges, spas, Jacuzzis, concierge desks and gyms.

PTI