by Shreyans Shah, Managing Director, MJ Shah Group
The demand for luxury housing in India has peaked post Covid-19 pandemic, given the pent up demand, coupled with reduction in stamp duty from 5% to 2% till March 2021, and low home loan interest rates. These measures by the government to give a boost to the sector have paid dividends. There is a significant increase in people opting for luxury homes as it results in a huge saving to final cost of the property.
The sale of luxury homes in the last quarter has shown a remarkable uptake when compared to other segments of housing. There is a huge inventory of ready- to- move in luxury housing stock which is attracting the HNIs and NRI community. They prefer to invest in ready-to-move in apartments rather than under construction property, taking advantage of the sops being offered by developers coupled with reduced stamp duty and low home loan interest rates.
Secondly, home buyers or investors prefer to invest in a property constructed by a reputed developer as he is assured that he will get possession on time and with all amenities and facilities provided as promised.
The NRI community has shown a keen interest and believes that the environment is conducive for them to invest in a luxury property here in India. The introduction and implementation of RERA has resulted in more transparency, sale of registered properties only and reputed developers who are trustworthy, adhere to transparency in dealings and ensure best industry practices are followed. This has boosted the confidence of the NRIs to go ahead and invest.
Another reason we see a growing interest among NRIs to invest in luxury projects here in India is because of depreciation of the Indian rupee vis-à-vis the US Dollar. This has made the US dollar stronger against the rupee and therefore increased purchasing power for the NRI. This coupled with reduction in stamp duty rates and low home loan interest rates have made it the most opportune time for NRIs to invest in luxury property.
In the city of Mumbai, we see a definite trend in south-central Mumbai and areas like Bandra which has witnessed an uptake in luxury housing sales. This is due to location advantage of being close to business hubs and entertainment centers. These areas are also well connected to the rest of Mumbai via the Bandra- Worli Sea Link, Western Express Highway and the domestic and International airports.
The current pandemic has seen a shift in buyer preference due to the fact that every member of the family is at home; parents, children and grand parents. In order to accommodate each member, giving them their own personal space, we see this trend of people opting for a larger and more luxurious home. With the new norm of WFH and social distancing, people realize the importance of maintaining good health and therefore are looking at luxury properties which provide amenities like jogging tracks, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, Gym, Spa, Yoga deck, Mini Golf, Kids play area, Library etc., for its residents.
Most luxury projects integrate more greenery, open landscape, jogging tracks, and play areas for children, sports and recreational facilities etc. This creates an ambience conducive for positive living – health of body and mind; and a healthy lifestyle. Such projects are designed in such a way so as to be more spacious, allow plentiful sunlight into your apartment, perfect cross ventilation and a panoramic view of the city.
In conclusion, we believe that the year 2021 will herald a new beginning and invigorate the sector across segments of housing. There is a definite upsurge in economic activities post the pandemic, given favorable policies by the government. Luxury developers will have to make use of technology, bring in more innovations and competencies to benefit from WFH and continue to build home buyer confidence through the year 2021.