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By 2027, it is estimated that India will have a million millionaires. These are dollar millionaires we are talking about, with a minimum wealth of around Rs seven crores. It is worth noting, too, that this is the number of people who have declared incomes and assets to make the mark. The number could go far higher, if other parameters are applied.
After the sluggish last few years, there are hopes that the economy is poised to take off again. The luxury real estate market is showing distinct signs of levelling off and picking up. As a matter of fact, even when the overall economy is in depression, the upper-end real estate market, many a times, remains unaffected.
Why have luxury apartments become an integral part of Indian realty?
Over the last few decades, the concept of luxury has become an integral part of the Indian landscape and economy. Glittering malls, offering the finest goods from across the globe, were once quite rare but now, they are sprouting up in every city. Similarly, luxury apartments which were quite scarce, have now become a fashionable address and statement for the rich and the aspiring upper-middle class. Whether it is real estate, automobile or personal possession items, luxury is here to stay, as people aspire for better things. We are ready to pay a premium for perceived quality and superior brand value.
Media has also played a role in this, with the advent of movies, followed by television and now, the Internet. We can see up close how the rich lead their lives, what they wear and how they behave and we try to imbibe their sense of style. World-wide, aspirational luxury expresses itself in high-value purchases. In addition to real estate, cars, jewellery, watches, phones, clothes and accessories reflect class and luxury.
What is the difference between a luxury property and a regular one?
The prime reason why people are ready to pay higher amounts to acquire something, is pride of ownership. In the real estate market, the concept of luxury visibly shines through. What separates the premium from the regular? Are there parameters that differentiate between the two? The short answer is, yes.
The first parameter is the location. Luxurious apartments are typically situated in the most coveted locations. It is a question of the neighbourhood – the residents of these apartments typically socialise with people of their own social strata and prefer to live close to them.
The next factor is space. The ones willing to pay extra for their apartments, like to live large. They love hosting friends and need the extra space, particularly on weekends. They need more space for members of their extended families and sometimes, their staff.
Another aspect in which premium housing differs from regular homes pertains to amenities. Luxury homes offer better facilities and convenience. These typically include clubhouses, swimming pools, better elevators, spacious lobbies and more. However, these lists are not set in stone.
Top luxury house amenities that people look for
To those choosing luxury housing, the big picture matters. The owners typically want an extra bedroom and bathroom, bigger areas, better quality of materials and flooring, higher ceilings and some of them are even quite fastidious about the amount of light that comes through. They want their bedrooms to be airy and spacious. They look for ample storage space. A walk-in closet is much desired. They demand top-of-the-line fittings in the bathrooms, with German-engineered and Italian-designed brands enjoying preference.
All said, luxury can still be quite difficult to define. What constitutes luxury for one individual may be just a necessity for another. What may be excessive for one, maybe just right for another. Nevertheless, the luxury market is here to stay. Till the human trait of acquiring and cherishing possessions remains, luxury will always be sought after.
Luxury apartments versus regular homes: What are the main differences?
There are 3 main differences between luxury apartments and regular homes: Location, space and amenities. Luxury apartments are located in prime areas, have more space and offer better amenities, as compared to regular homes.
What are the extra amenities offered in luxury homes?
Luxury apartments often have larger floor area, an extra bedroom and bathroom, better quality of fixtures with German engineering or Italian design, ample storage space and walk-in closets.
(The writer is project director, 24K – Kolte Patil Developers Limited)