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Amid rising income levels in India, penthouse ownership has become an obvious choice for Indians chasing luxury real estate. Consequently, the demand and supply of penthouses in Indian real estate have witnessed a spike in the past decade. Their increasing popularity in India’s luxury segment notwithstanding, a lot of confusion still exists among buyers when it comes to what a penthouse’s meaning is. What are penthouses and how are they different from regular apartments in the same building?
What is a penthouse?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a penthouse is ‘an expensive and comfortable flat or set of rooms at the top of a tall building’.
When the concept first became popular, developers followed the term’s original definition. Going forward, the term was also used to define an exclusive flat on other floors, as developers realised the possibility of generating higher profits with the penthouse concept.
The concept first gained popularity in major global business districts, where privacy and space increasingly became hard to find amid rising population. Sensing the demand, developers started constructing penthouses on the top floor of apartment buildings and charged a premium for such units. As demand patterns evolved, developers started making changes in the building structure to accommodate more penthouses, which could be built anywhere in the building. A building developed in various tiers like, say, a wedding cake, could have several penthouses.
More recently, developers use the term penthouse even more freely to define exclusive units in housing projects that have more opulent features than the remaining units, because of their locational advantage and amenities.
However, as penthouses are not very common in India, developers mostly stick to the standard definition, when they market the product. A penthouse in India is basically a penthouse in the traditional sense.
See also: All about duplex houses
Facilities offered in penthouses
A penthouse would have an open terrace that is exclusive to the owner. These units also carry opulent indoor fittings. Unlike a regular unit, the ceiling is also much higher in a penthouse and it has a different layout plan and luxury amenities, including gymnasium, swimming pools and sometimes even private elevators.
“These units are designed specially, to cater to specific types of home buyers, who are willing to pay premium prices for procuring that ultra-luxury space and the state-of-art features associated with it,” says Amit Modi, director of ABA Corp and president-elect, CREDAI-Western UP.
The target segment
As penthouses in India are equated with exclusivity and status symbols, developers pay close attention to their target audience. Penthouses are generally preferred by celebrities, especially in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, which is also home to cash-rich Bollywood stars and leading names from the world of sports. They are a favourite among anyone with the right purchasing power, such as businessmen, non-resident Indians (NRIs), high-net-worth executives, etc.
Benefits of a penthouse
Privacy, terrace space and high ceilings are the typical features of penthouses that differentiate it from regular homes.
Unobstructed view: Penthouses generally provide ample natural light and ventilation and an unobstructed view of the surroundings. These are things that not many may be able to afford in a big city. These units offer more peace and quiet, because of the placement of the units.
Exclusivity: In India, the ownership of a penthouse would be viewed with admiration among your peers. The owner of a penthouse often enjoys a variety of services that others in the same building do not get.
Recession-proof investment: Unlike in western countries, where penthouses are available in large numbers, developers in India have been careful, in launching projects with penthouses. In the presence of limited supply, values of penthouses continue to grow. As long as the supply is lower than the total demand, there is no reason to be worried about value depreciation.
According to Modi, industrialists, corporate leaders, NRIs and prominent members of HNI segment are keen on investing in these properties, as ‘such properties are not affected by the downturns in the economy’.
Disadvantages of penthouses
The availability of large space, also means a higher requirement for its maintenance, every month. Penthouses are also more exposed to heat and air, as compared to other units in the building. Hence, in a hot city, the interiors of the unit could become quite hot. In cities that have a lot of rainfall, seepage could be common. A large house that offers privacy, may also lead to a sense of loneliness.
Penthouse price range in India
Prices of penthouses in Mumbai range anywhere between Rs 20 crores and go up to Rs 100 crores, depending on the location. Gurugram is another location in the national capital region (NCR), where buyers would find exclusive penthouses. Rates of penthouses in this market could also run into several crores. A similar trend can be seen in Pune and Bengaluru, where penthouses are quite popular. Price range for penthouses in Noida and Greater Noida Extension, on the other hand, is Rs 6-12 crores.
What is penthouse meaning?
The Oxford Dictionary defines a penthouse as ‘an expensive and comfortable flat or set of rooms at the top of a tall building’.
What is the price of a penthouse in Mumbai?
A penthouse in Mumbai can be priced from Rs 20 crores to Rs 100 crores, depending on its location.