LUXURY LIVING SPACE WILL SEE MORE TRACTION IN THE FUTURE
DLF’s Rajeev Talwar says that despite the fact that past couple of years have been challenging for the real estate sector in general, demand for high-end luxury living space has actually increased.
Indulge spoke with the group executive director of DLF Ltd, India’s largest real estate developer, about the challenges and the future. Edited excerpts:
DLF’s Rajeev Talwar. Priyanka Parashar/Mint
What are the top-end luxury projects you are working on? Are there any such products in the pipeline?
There are many projects in the pipeline. In the top-end luxury segment, DLF has announced various projects under brands such as Almeda, Queen’s Court, King’s Court, Sama, Commander’s Court, Capital Greens and Regal Gardens. These will all cater to homebuyers in the super-luxury and premium categories.
What are the major challenges facing the luxury residential space?
Absence of quality of labour is a serious concern for most builders. It is for this reason that people cannot get better finish and better quality buildings. Apart from this, the kinds of material that builders need to make these quality homes are not easily available in the country. These are special kinds of building material used specifically for designing these (high-end living spaces) and giving them aesthetic uplift. We have to get them from China or some other European country.
In addition, there is a need for bringing in new technological innovations that is the speciality of some foreign companies.
What is stopping the companies to bring in those innovations?
The problem here is getting approval for each project. There are regulatory hurdles in the business. If the government starts sanctioning projects at a faster rate, companies can easily create infrastructure and bring in technological prowess at a cheaper rate. And this applies to not just luxury housing, but to every category of housing.
The world economy has gone through some a roller-coaster ride after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. What changes have you witnessed in the luxury living space?
In the last two-three years, despite challenges before the developers, luxury real estate has been witnessing high demand and constant increase in prices. It is for this very reason that people continue in this space even when times are tough.
Where do you see luxury residential real estate five years down the line?
If the government is able to create conducive policy environment around this space, it will grow further in coming years. There will be more traction and more demand in this space if the buyer, too, is empowered by competitive interest rates.
Any particular common demand that buyers in this space have?
By our experience, we have seen that the final product becomes best when we leave the interior designing part on buyers. Though, there is a uniformity from the exterior, people want to do their own interiors.
WE CONTINUE TO REMAIN BULLISH ON THE GROWTH OF THE LUXURY HOUSING SEGMENT
Unitech’s Ajay Chandra spoke to Indulge about the key changes in the last 10 years in the luxury living space and the company’s upcoming projects in the segment. Edited excerpts:
What are the key changes you have noticed in the past decade in the luxury real estate segment?
Unitech’s Ajay Chandra. Priyanka Parashar/Mint
The macroeconomic trends have positively contributed to the demand of luxury real estate in India. For instance, higher income levels, changing demographics, growing aspirations, better availability of loans, etc., have all contributed towards the growth in demand. Rapid globalization has also led to a seamless inflow of global lifestyle trends. Trends that exist globally are being incorporated in Indian projects on a real-time basis as many Indians today are frequent global travellers.
How do you see the top-end luxury living space performing in the next five years?
The industry estimates and forecasts point towards a robust and sustained growth. To quote one of these reports, according to Technopak’s Report on India Luxury Trends 2011-12, the Indian luxury industry shall grow to nearly two and half times of its current size over the next five years. This shall be fuelled by the dynamic lifestyles of the heritage rich as well as the aspirational rich segment. We continue to remain bullish on the growth of the luxury housing segment.
What are the challenges before the developers?
The challenges that all developers face are industry-specific. For instance, shortage of skilled manpower, need for more deployment of technology in real estate construction, etc. However, various developers are taking several measures to address these challenges.
What do homebuyers in this segment demand?
Homebuyers in this segment are aware of global trends, innovations in home design, home automation systems, etc. They are increasingly demanding more lifestyle amenities such as golfing greens, modern club with exclusive members lounge, spa, gym, swimming pool, etc. Hence the desirability index of future projects will depend a lot on these lifestyle offerings and how exclusive one can get.
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