The definition of ‘luxury’ in Indian real estate, is witnessing a major shift – from referring to a brand’s ‘product offering’ to now being defined by a customer’s ‘experiential journey’. Today, luxury is associated with a sense of indulgence, exclusivity, quality and refinement. Customers seek distinctive design features and sophistication that offer an unparalleled living. However, value for money, accessibility and amenities that enrich one’s lifestyle, also play a key role in influencing purchase decisions. The trend is now changing, from loud and extravagant displays of one’s wealth, to subtle expressions of understated elegance. Consumers today seek projects that offer practical luxury.
What is practical luxury: The new norm in luxury real estate?
Consumers are well-aware of international standards in design and development. Property buyers, who evaluate high-end developments, seek value for money. What matters to this group of buyers, are developments with good project layouts, more open and green spaces, natural lighting and ventilation and a trove of lifestyle amenities. To meet the rising expectations, brands are competing with each other, to provide innovative concepts and unique amenities for home buyers. Consequently, features such as swimming pools, balconies with expansive views, game rooms, 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, tends to lure customers that find merit in stretching their budget for a more luxurious experience. Such a scenario works well for real estate developers that aspire to build world-class spaces.
Privacy is increasingly becoming an important factor for luxury home buyers. Today’s buyers seek out security features that allow remote monitoring of their homes. Automation 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.
‘Biophilic design’ and its impact on luxury projects
A ‘biophilic design principle’ is one that seeks to connect human life and nature, integrating natural elements of light and ventilation, to create a harmonious environment that promotes well-being. Practical luxury projects that follow this principle, have a deep connection with the surrounding landscape, which is carried through into materials, patterns and palette, as well as the concept of incorporating outdoor living into the interiors.
The practice of using well-defined elevations, aesthetic terracotta panels and glass façades, enhance the overall look and feel of the development, conserve energy and also build an innate connect with the exterior world. Polished stones, along with rough, textured timbers, help in creating a contrast between refinement and natural beauty. Also, a project that embraces the beauty of its surroundings and promises a modern lifestyle, adds to the ‘luxury experience’ for customers.
Nowadays, developers are increasingly adopting stronger customer-centric approaches, to cater to the dynamic real estate industry. Innovation and newer experiences in product offerings that are in tandem with customers’ demands, are the new norm.
(The writer is president, sales and marketing, Piramal Realty)