Gudi Padwa 2016: Developers to attract buyers with compact homes

[] Every year, during the festive season, developers try to lure buyers with discounts and freebies. This year, however, builders are offering compact homes, with additional amenities to attract serious buyers

Gudi Padwa, celebrated as the new year in Maharashtra, is considered an auspicious festival, for home buyers to book or enter their new houses (gruh pravesh). However, the scenario may be a bit different this year. Owing to the slowdown in the market, many developers are likely to focus on one segment where the demand continues to be high. Consequently, to make homes more affordable, developers are launching compact residential units with smaller configurations, especially in certain submarkets of Mumbai.

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Hariprakash Pandey, senior vice-president – finance, HDIL, says that many compact homes will be on offer around the festive day. “The demand for budget homes comes more from genuine buyers, rather than investors. The demand for such homes is always high, as 65% of our country’s population is under 35 years of age and their needs and budgets are limited,” he explains.

Catering to demand

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Shailesh Puranik, managing director of Puranik Builders Pvt Ltd, expects a variety of projects to be displayed during Gudi Padwa. “Nowadays, home buyers are well-read and aware of the latest trends in housing. Moreover, the aspiration levels of new-age home buyers are radically different, from those, say two decades ago. Hence, contemporary home buyers always look for interesting concepts, designs, etc., while buying a house,” he points out.

There is a definite surge, in buyers’ interest towards compact and affordable homes, concurs Manju Yagnik, vice-chairperson of the Nahar Group. “We foresee more of these projects being displayed, this Gudi Padwa. Though the demand for luxury homes will always be there, home buyers are looking at projects that are appropriately priced, along with good connectivity to other parts of the city, good social infrastructure and scope for future appreciation,” she elaborates.

Home buyers’ top concerns

According to experts, home buyers now give significant importance to infrastructure, such as medical facilities, supermarkets, schools, colleges and so on. They also prefer housing complexes that have in-house facilities, such as a club house, swimming pool, gym, etc. Good connectivity to one’s workplace can reduce the commuting time drastically, resulting in better utilisation of time spent with the family.

This has prompted home buyers to prefer homes that are located closer to their workplace, even though they may have to opt for a smaller house. Compact homes have also become more attractive among a section of home buyers, owing to the ever-increasing property prices. Moreover, compact houses also bring down the cost per unit for buyers.

Compact, but useful

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Ashish S Raheja, managing director of Raheja Universal Ltd, cautions that merely reducing the size and budget of a unit, is not enough. “Compact homes should be efficiently planned and optimised for quality of life. Besides affordability, the 1-BHK that a home buyer invests in, should be optimally planned, with utilities like a second bathroom, a lift, children’s play area and airy passages,” he adds.

In an effort to cater to the growing demand from this emerging housing segment, developers are likely to embrace innovative concepts. For example, there has been an encouraging response to theme-based housing concepts.

Raj Gala Shah, partner, Zara Habitats, insists that today’s market is more ‘need driven’, rather than ‘greed driven’. “Buyers prefer to invest in homes that are compact enough to house their every need, without having to stretch their budget, just because extra areas that may not be necessary to his lifestyle, were added to the unit. Consequently, this festive season, builders are likely to display projects that offer a greater liveable area, which buyers can make practical use of,” he concludes.

Gudi Padwa is being celebrated on April 8, this year.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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