The Indian real estate industry is at the cusp of disruption, with customer-centricity and personalisation redefining the landscape. The sector is set to witness an exponential growth riding on the trifecta of strong policy support, a mechanism that provides the last-mile-funding for developers and a reduction of stamp duty and registration fee in some states creating an attractive value proposition for customers. The rise in the number of customers with disposable incomes who are global travellers and are not shying away from demanding the same global standards at the time of purchasing their new homes back in India has also been a key factor in fuelling this very welcome change in the industry.
In a response to this demand, developers have come up with an array of offerings to cater to the discerning taste of their customers. Of these offerings, the fastest growing segment has been the creation of Independent floors within a gated community. This segment has quickly become the proffered choices of homebuyers’ in metropolitan cities.
Apartments have long redefined the skyline in Tier-1 cities such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai & Bengaluru and are building strong inroads into the Tier-2 cities. A rise in nuclear families, preference for compact lifestyle, increase in land cost and migration for academic and career prospects have provided a fillip to the apartment ecosystem in India. These apartments have become sought-after assets due to their comfortable design, robust facility management services and 24×7 security. These apartments are usually located in an integrated and self-sustaining township endowed with amenities such as a gym, clubhouse, spa, etc. Opting for the ubiquitous apartment has been a convenient and a hassle-free option, especially for working professionals for whom time is a premium given that in an apartment complex, outsourced maintenance agencies manage the facilities. From an investment perspective, depending upon the location, apartments are considered to have a good resale value.
Covid-19, however, has redefined normal life, as we know it. The work-from-home culture has also led to a reconfiguration of residences to accommodate a distinct home and an office space to ensure a semblance of a work-life balance. This has inevitably led to a surge in demand for independent floors. The prevailing health, hygiene and wellness concerns have accelerated the preference towards independent floors that offer both, a viable option to escape from the hustle-bustle of the ground floors and an adherence to socially safe distancing norms. The developers, in addressing the sentiment for these wellness concerns have planned these Independent floors in a self-sustained integrated development that offer opulent amenities for an indulgent lifestyle. The factors that distinguish such offerings from others include strategic location, aesthetically planned design by eminent architects of global repute, lavish amenities and intuitive facilities. They also leverage the use of cutting-edge technology to ensure an exceptional customer experience. These floors are more spacious and offer greater privacy than apartments as mostly there is only one house per floor in contrast to three or four apartment to the core in a usual apartment building. These floors are a preferred choice of extended families, or millennials who wish to stay close to their loved ones and yet do not want to compromise on their privacy.
The independent floors are rapidly gaining traction, especially in metropolitan cities such as Gurugram and Bengaluru. For the savvy investor with an eye on the ROI, both apartments and Independent Floors score equally as there is a high demand for both kinds of properties ensuring a steady rental income with a consistent capital appreciation creating a win-win situation for the investor.
A JLL report highlights that independent floors have witnessed a surge in demand in Gurugram. A recent Haryana government policy has permitted upto four floors on a single plot be sold individually. This expected to provide a boost to the surging demand to this kind of offering. Infrastructural upgradation, improved connectivity and most importantly, livability will provide a stimulus to peripheral locations to emerge as sunrise realty destinations.
Developers of repute have taken this segment a notch higher by their recent foray into building gated-communities of independent floors. The organized, community-focused development will address the earlier gaps by providing superior security, organized parking facilities, robust and centrally managed maintenance services, club house and sporting facilities which until now, predominantly restricted to the domain of apartment dwellers only.
This new segment of organized development has much to gain by focusing on bridging the amenities and services gap and thus inevitably implying that such independent floors by developers of repute and sound credentials will open a new residential segment of horizontal development with best of both worlds.
The health and hygiene concerns will continue to fuel the demand for robust facility management in these offerings. Moreover, Independent Floors allow the homebuyers to accommodate their demands for personalization as these floors are designed to accommodate their preferences and budget.
The rising popularity of independent floors should not however be construed as a waning demand for apartments. Both offerings will co-exist due to their unique value propositions and find favour with homebuyers depending upon their individual needs, preference and investment expectation. What it means is that the customer will remain the pivot of developers’ strategies, and the customers will have the luxury to be spoilt for choice.
Source : construction week online