How Ultra Luxury Housing Defies All Market Trends

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

In India, the definition of luxury housing varies from city to city, and the demand for luxury homes in each city also differs. A plush 2 BHK flat in a central location or in an area near to corporate or IT employment hubs would qualify as a luxury home in Mumbai, Pune or Bangalore solely on the basis of location.

However, the classic Indian concept of a luxury home also involves generous size – so a 3 or 4 BHK apartment is definitely defined as luxury. As a rule, such luxury flats are built only by developers who have specific expertise in this genre, as apart from large size, customers look for highly evolved amenities and facilities to create the necessary luxury ethos.

What Drives The Demand For Luxury Homes

It is a mistake to club the demand for ultra-luxury housing with that of the rest of the property market, because the dynamics are very different. In the first place, the luxury homes market tends to be quite end-user centric in many cities.

The higher ticket sizes mean that only investors with considerable capital at their disposal are active in the luxury segment. The end-users who largely patronize the luxury housing segment generally do not need housing loans but buy such properties from their own capital, being from the affluent class.

Cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi have their well-established high-value luxury homes locations. The people who live there have often been residents for several generations and are not open to relocating elsewhere.

These locations tend to have a rich share of natural ambience due to limited development norms being enforced there, and at the same time a high degree of social infrastructure which ensures that life there is trouble-free and convenient.

Among this location-driven buyer set, the demand for genuine luxury homes is considerable. Due to very limited supply in these areas, such properties often tend to change hands among this specific buyer segment.

Prices for such ultra-luxury homes are a function of both the high-value vanity addresses and the size and configuration. Rarely, a large family-owned property will be sold and redeveloped into limited-edition boutique homes which are immediately snapped up.

We can see this dynamic actively at play in areas like Cuffe Parade, Nepean Sea Road, Worli, Juhu and Lower Parel in Mumbai. In Pune, the specific areas for such luxury housing are Sahakar Nagar, Boat Club Road, Kalyani Nagar and Koregaon Park.

Since they are meant to function as family estates, luxury homes in such areas doubtlessly need to get the size factor right. Such extra-large ultra luxury living spaces are naturally expected to offer ultra-modern luxurious amenities which can be upgraded as technological advancements push the luxury envelope further up the value chain. These addresses may or may not be centrally located, but that factor does not, in any case, play a big role.

Montecito 3

Why Core Luxury Addresses Never Change

Spatial expansion of cities like Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi is constantly pushing the city boundaries further and in different directions. Simultaneously, new workplace hubs geared to the booming Information Technology sector spring up in the emerging locations, which IT companies prefer because of the lower property costs.

Residential catchments form around these IT hubs to respond to the demand for homes from their employees. These new residential areas usually see high demand for homes of all ticket sizes, including the more expensive ‘green homes.’

While these higher-end homes definitely fall in the category of premium housing, the locations themselves do not spell luxury. The same dynamic can be seen around large manufacturing hubs, where premium housing can be found in locations which have essentially have an industrial, blue-collar image.

Through all this expansion, a city’s core luxury address locations remain static and continue to hold sway even as the city itself grows in all directions.

These addresses have very little to do with Indian real estate’s primary growth driver, which is employment generation. They are the home of the city’s landed gentry – its long-established core of wealth.

Though property owners in these locations are often owners of very large businesses, they themselves are not dependent on quick access to workplace hubs. They have earned a far more leisurely life long ago, and their main objective and prerogative is to dwell among their peers in an environment untouched by the mass development in every other part of the city.

Immune To General Market Dynamics

The demand for luxury housing in these elite locations is therefore always steady. Developers who have the rare opportunity to create new luxury housing projects there will invariably have a dedicated inner circle of HNI buyers and investors who will snap up their limited-edition offerings.

Such housing is more or less impervious to the influence of recession, as the buyers are not dependent on home loans but largely use their own capital to buy such housing. The demand from investors and HNI end-users for luxury housing in the traditional core areas of the city is therefore always present.

When the opportunity to acquire properties in a new luxury project in such an area presents itself, such buyers will enter the project at the pre-launch or under construction stage to avail of the best rates.

The marketing strategy for homes in a city’s core luxury areas also differs significantly from the kind of campaigns developers use to promote mid-income housing projects. The marketing approach focuses more on the aspiration for exclusiveness and status among people who can afford to avail of it.

While word-of-mouth communication among core investors usually suffices to draw massive inquiries, developers will also advertise these offerings in prestigious lifestyle magazines, airport lounges and similar platforms.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Sahakar Nagar – Pune’s Most Aspirational Neighbourhood

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Pune is witnessing a very high rate of cross-border cultural exchange, with an increasing number of its citizens traveling abroad even as more and more international tourists explore the city each year.

The IT culture, glitzy shopping malls boutiques offering the latest in global fashion trends and international schools are all part of this process of cultural homogenization. Pune has become a truly cosmopolitan city, thanks largely to the influence of its burgeoning IT sector.

Nevertheless, the historical Pune – the city which holds on to its traditional values and outlook – continues to exist. Because of the mass-scale development happening all of the city, it is less visible today than it was just ten years ago, but the spirit of Punyanagari lives on in its core areas.

Sahakar Nagar is perhaps the most prominent of these strongholds of Pune’s traditions.

Sahakar Nagar needs no introduction to citizens of Pune. This elite residential area is one of the oldest, greenest and most respectable addresses in the city. The area was developed after the 1961 floods in Pune, and has become a prominent location today.

Sahakar Nagar is home to some of Pune’s most established businesspersons, politicians and movers and shakers, and has been a very exclusive and largely closed real estate market for decades.

Simultaneously, Sahakar Nagar represents a unique balance because it has retained the city’s traditional Marathi culture while at the same time evolving to keep pace with the times.

Aerial view of Sahakar Nagar, Pune
Aerial view of Sahakar Nagar, Pune

From the outside, the tranquil dignity and old-world charm of this venerable residential location gives no visible indication of change. However, Sahakar Nagar has been seeing a constant process of reinvention which has resulted in excellent civil infrastructure.

This area is unique in yet another aspect. Because of the fact that the residents of Sahakar Nagar will never want to move anywhere else, getting a resale home here is a huge challenge. Also, since it is fully developed and occupied for several years now, there is next to no new residential supply.

Sahakar Nagar is one of the last predominantly end-user driven locations in Pune, though investors are always keen to make a play in this distinguished luxury neighbourhood. It is a genuine stronghold of the city’s elite and affluent families that has never been open to investors.

The past few years have seen no new projects at Sahakar Nagar because of the lack of land. The primary residential configuration at Sahakar Nagar is bungalows and villas, which comprise most of the housing landscape of this high-profile location.

The resident profile primarily reflects Pune’s orthodox Hindu Brahmin community, which has helped preserve Sahakar Nagar’s reputation as one of the last outposts of the city’s traditional roots.

The location itself is perfect. At a high elevation, it offers a breath-taking view of the Parvati/Taljai hill area as well as thick reserved forest lands. Bharati Vidyapeeth, one of Pune’s most upscale educational institutions, has its campus close by.

The Pune-Satara road provides ready access to Swargate Bus Terminus, a vital transit hub in the heart of the city, as well as other key areas of Central Pune. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is within easy commuting distance via the Katraj Bypass. Sahakar Nagar is also within a stone’s throw from City Pride Cineplex, and has its own integrated high street shopping area which most of the local residents patronize.

Thanks to its unmatched locational advantages and also its unique profile, Sahakar Nagar is a highly aspirational luxury address. Due to scarcity of developable space, top-class projects in the area are a focal point for high-end investors as well as families looking for prestigious permanent residences.

With next to no availability of residential units of any kind, Sahakar Nagar’s status as a stronghold of Pune’s elite stands unassailable.

Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. established its foothold in Sahakar Nagar back in 2007 with the launch of the luxury apartment project 9 Green Park. This project was completed in 2012 and is, not surprisingly, completely sold out and occupied. However, another luxury apartment project by AEHL now offers the hope of home ownership in Sahakar Nagar to Pune’s discerning few.

Montecito Entrance Lounge small

Montecito – located adjacent to 9 Green Park – enjoys the most spectacular view yet of Sahakar Nagar’s legendary natural splendour. This ultra-luxurious apartments project, spread over 4.3 acres of Sahakar Nagar’s most breathtakingly beautiful hilltop location, consist of two 16-storied towers that offer 64 apartments backed by five levels of reserved parking. This unique project is designed by none other than renowned architects Talathi & Panthaki.

Answering the call for luxury living in Pune’s most treasured and highly exclusive residential addresses, Montecito is AEHL’s final brush-stroke on a priceless masterpiece called Sahakar Nagar – a location that always has, and always will, capture the very essence of all that is truly Pune.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Should You Invest In Property In Another City? 

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. 

The understandable tendency of most property investors in India is to focus on the cities that they actually live in.

This is because they are already familiar with which locations see the highest demand and who the reliable and reputed developers are. Also, most people will have a fairly broad network of others people within their city who can advise them on potential property investments.

Yet, the Internet has opened the larger real estate playing field in India up more than ever before. A simple online search involving the keywords ‘buy home’ or ‘buy property’ will yield thousands of results from across the country.

And the trend is no longer limited to people who own computers – rapid smartphone penetration has opened up the Internet to a staggering number of people today.

According to a survey by Indiaproperty.com, the availability of user-friendly app’s and improved website designs have led to mobile-based property searches growing three times faster than PC-based searches.

This survey also established that real estate searches in Tier II cities, which have seen very fast smart phone penetration over the last few years, have grown 1.3 times over the national average.

The real estate data available for these cities is obviously available to all ‘netizens’. In other words, a larger number of geographies than ever before are drawing the attention of property investors.

For instance, Pune is a high focus area for real estate investors from Mumbai and Bangalore because of its amenable property prices, favourable appreciation statistics and the fact that properties in all budget ranges are available.

But how advisable or even safe is it for a non-resident to make a real estate investment in a city that he or she is not familiar with?

This question becomes even more important when one considers that the best prospects in terms of lower property prices and better appreciation are in such a city’s emerging corridors rather than its established real estate precincts. The first thing such a prospective investor needs to do is establish what kind of demand is driving such a location.

The primary driver for residential demand is job creation – if an identified city, town or periphery is seeing a lot of demand for homes from people who are attracted by a good job market, then it can be said to be a good residential property investment bet.

The other important variable is affordability. Quite a few non-metros as well as peripheral areas of larger cities currently qualify on these parameters.

Again taking the example of Pune – this city is classified as Tier II, but has a remarkable configuration as far as economic drivers are concerned. Pune’s economy and job market are driven by Information Technology and BPO firms, its vast manufacturing belt and a thriving services sector.

The steadily increasing demand for budget homes from employees working in all these sectors has resulted in a veritable real estate boom in fast-developing locations like Undri, Ambegaon, Wagholi and Bhugaon.

Amit's Astonia Royale in Undri
Amit’s Astonia Royale in Undri

However, these areas are being developed by both large organized builders with a strong market reputation and unknown small-time players with no verifiable track record. The question that any investor needs to ask in such a scenario is who to trust. This brings up the second important factor for an investor to focus on – namely which projects to invest in.

One of the aspects to be fully investigated is the reliability and market standing of developers active in such a market. Though the recently announced Real Estate Regulation bill will eventually weed out all fly-by-night operators, the fact is that many unscrupulous developers have historically been active in emerging locations.

Such developers may not have obtained all necessary clearances for their projects or even have clear ownership of their plots. They may also engage in shoddy construction, and often lack the capitalization to see their projects to timely completion. Buyers are attracted by the lower property rates they offer in order to attract demand.

However, due to the high demand driving the real estate market in such locations, many reputed developers who have been delivering quality projects on time for a long time are invariably also active there. Investors should only patronize such developers so that they can avoid unforeseen risks to their investments.

It definitely makes sense to consider cities other than one’s cities of residence for property investment, especially if one’s own city does not yield very attractive returns on investment.

Investors from Mumbai are so active on the Pune real estate market because while property price appreciation all over the financial capital has been next to flat for over three years, neighbouring Pune has been seeing property price growth of at least 15-18% in many of its emerging areas, and rental demand in the city is also very high and increasing constantly.

Property investments in other cities should be done after a lot of research and preparation, but they can definitely be extremely profitable for those who do their homework.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

The Philosophy Behind Residential Project Names

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

The naming of residential projects can play a significant role in how much attention they garner on the market. While the name-selection process may sometimes seem random (and it sometimes is), there is more often than not a great deal of psychology and marketing thought behind it.

The idea is to create a certain impression and aspiration in the minds of the target clientele, and when this is done with enough research and sound marketing advice, this objective can definitely be fulfilled.

The philosophy behind naming a project is guided by the specific nature of a particular market in terms of overall ethos, social configuration and mind-set, and the type of clientele that the developer is targeting.

The developer will seek to find a name that ‘speaks’ the local language and also conveys the image or impression that he is trying to create. Usually, the developer will employ an advertisement agency to come up with a suitable name, and the shortlisting and confirmation of the final pick can be quite a drawn-out process.

For instance, project names with a Mediterranean image evoke visions of such countries and the ethos they represent. This ethos would include a lot of things, including a sense of chilled-out global ambiance, exclusiveness and social ‘arrival’.

Amit's Astonia Royale in Undri
Amit’s Astonia Royale in Undri

Such names are usually given to themed gated projects and townships wherein the developer has gone to considerable pains to recreate the identified cultural ethos in the project with its specifications, amenities and design, including the interior decor of individual units.

With yet another category of project names such as those that evoke a certain cultural ethos, the intention will be to attract buyers from a certain community within a city.

Such names may seek to speak to buyers from the traditional ‘core’ sector of the city, which would like the thought of being able to include such a name in their address.

However, this is by no means a given. The name selection may also be completely random and based on no such particular intention. At times, the name may have absolutely no bearing on anything that the project actually is, and this phenomenon is often seen in the case with mid-income housing projects.

In today’s market scenario, there is no shortage of highly imaginative and well-researched project names. By the same coin, there is also no shortage of bizarre project names where one tends to wonder what exactly the developer was thinking.

In the past, the process of naming a project was a lot simpler and less meditated. Previously, a number of good names were up for grabs – today, there is high competition among developers to find the best possible names.

Developers will seek to keep the names of their projects a secret until they are ready to unleash the complete marketing campaign, to reduce the chances of competitors plagiarizing these names for their own projects. As of now, there is no well-defined ‘copyrighting’ mechanism available.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Compact Homes: India’s New Urban Living Standard

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

The parameters that drive urban living in India have been changing constantly. People from other parts of the country have been migrating into thriving cities like Mumbai and Pune to avail of the better job prospects there.

While real estate developers have been attempting to cater to the rising demand for housing, urban land prices have been rising and with them the cost of homes. This has given rise to the trend for compact homes near these cities’ main office locations.

Perfect residential solution in urban areas

The affordable prices of smaller homes are not the only reason why compact flats are now the first choice of people living urban areas. Of course, the price differential does play a major role. After all, bigger apartments of 3BHK and 4BHK configurations are very expensive.

At the same time, 1 BHK flats are considered too small for growing families. This is why 2BHK apartments are now in highest demands among urban families. Particularly designed for the working middle class, such flats are more suitable as well as affordable for nuclear families. In fact, the compact 2BHK apartment is now considered the new luxury standard.

Projects with 1BHK, 2BHK and 3BHK options are not new in a city like Pune, but they have some inbuilt limitations. The biggest limitation is that such projects result in very disproportionate neighbourhoods, with several families having bought homes in different budgets.

However, projects comprising exclusively of compact 2 BHK flats – a new trend that is catching on in a big way in cities like Pune – provide a setting where all home buyers come in at the same level. This results in uniform neighbourhoods whose residents are evenly matched at a socio-economic level.

Home Construction Plan

Why Compact Homes Rock The Middle Class

– The size is right: Compact 2BHK flats are small enough to be manageable for small nuclear families, yet large enough to accommodate their future growth in terms of children.

– Makes ‘space’ for other investments/expenses: Home buyers who are on a budget but still want to enjoy the benefits of a good, well-connected location prefer such flats. Real estate developers who focus on this demand segment are able to achieve economy of scale by building vertically on relatively smaller plots.

– Cheaper than larger apartments: While investing in a property, the primary concern for the Indian middle class is price. Not only are large properties that are extremely expensive out of reach for them, but the money that is saved by buying a smaller home can be invested elsewhere or utilized in some other manner to achieve yet another important lifestyle goal. Today’s upwardly mobile young Indians want to travel, invest in nice cars and get the best possible education for their children.

– Smartly designed compact homes maximize space: One of the first things one notices in many larger flats is that lots of space is wasted, or not being utilized optimally. Because space saving is not only a virtue but a necessity in urban areas. Compact 2 BHK homes can be designed in a manner that provides space for everything while no space is wasted. Such smart designs help in using smaller areas in the most effective manner.

– Easy to maintain: In today’s extremely busy and hectic life, they watchwords are convenience and low maintenance – especially in one’s home. Compact homes are easier and more cost-effective to handle and maintain than large apartments. Electricity bills and maintenance bills can be reduced significantly in such homes. Also, they require less furniture and décor.

– Freedom and flexibility to design the home: The interior design of compact homes can be designed easily and cost-effectively. Guided by the latest trends in compact home décor, young Indian families are able to transform their smaller flats into extremely stylish spaces within small but intelligently allocated budgets.

– Great savings on transportation: Transportation expenses can be reduced greatly with compact homes which are located in well-connected areas. Because the developers of such projects locate them in close proximity to commercial areas like offices, banks and shopping malls as well as, schools, colleges and hospitals. Thanks to their better connectivity and social infrastructure, well-located compact homes are becoming first choice of home buyers in urban areas.

– Higher scope of resale on the property market: The demand for compact homes in well-connected urban areas is rising constantly, with more and more people looking to purchase such properties and benefit from their many advantages. Therefore, the resale value of compact homes is always high and such homes are sold very quickly, as there are always prospective buyers. This means that owners of compact homes can exit their investments easily and at a good profit if they find the need to relocate or move into larger homes.

Small in not only beautiful but eminently practical and sensible for the contemporary urban citizen. With so many advantages to owning compact homes in well-connected neighbourhoods, this is one real estate market segment that will not only hold its own but grow exponentially in the years to come.

Such a home is the ultimate place to live in, as well as a matchless performing asset from the perspective of real estate investment.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

7 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Home While You’re Young

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

There are lots of arguments for and against buying a home early in life, but the rationale for doing so is, in fact, the strongest and most convincing.

  1. Lower EMIs

In the first place, the longer the tenure of a home loan, the lower the EMIs are. EMIs are calculated on the basis of the loan amount and how long the borrower can logically repay the home loan.

In India, the retirement age is 65, and banks will consider this as the age by which the borrower must under any case close the home loan if he or she has not done so already. The longer one defers the decision to avail of a home loan to buy a property, the bigger the EMIs become.

  1. Higher Eligibilty

It is easiest to get approved for a home loan when one is young.

Lenders are eager to provide home loans to young people because they are at the beginning of their careers, and will doubtlessly grow in them over the ensuing years. Their financial viability – and therefore their future ability to service a home loan – is therefore at its highest point.

In fact, the eligibility for a home loan is even higher for young married couples taking out a joint home loan. This is by far the most desirable lending scenario for banks.

Banks are assured that two, instead of only one income stream, will back the home loan proposal, and the fact that two instead of one borrower are involved decreases their risk.

Taking a joint home loan also helps a couple close down the financial commitment of a home loan much faster, allowing them to focus on other investments earlier in life.

  1. Upgrading to a Better Home

Another advantage of purchasing a home early in life is that it becomes easier to pay off the outstanding amount on a home loan with accumulated savings later in life.

This opens up the opportunity to upgrade to a bigger, better-located home is the future – which is what most Indians aspire to do at some point.

  1. Bigger Down Payments

Today, many newly-married couples are deferring their plans to have children until they have had a chance to enjoy some unfettered years together. Such a decision also works very well for such couples from the point of view of home purchase.

Home Buyers

It means that they can make a big down payment on their home before children and their education become an additional financial responsibility. A bigger down payment reduces the EMI burden, meaning that they can close their home loans faster.

  1. Greater Appreciation

It is also important to note that the earlier one buys a home, the longer it has to appreciate in value. Given that the annual appreciation of a well-located residential property can be to the tune of 15 to 20%, which results in a huge incremental increase of the investment value of such an asset.

  1. Income Tax Breaks

It also makes much more sense to invest one’s hard-earned money in an appreciating asset rather than pay monthly rentals for which there are no returns at all. Repayment of a home loan also brings with it the financial advantage of income tax breaks.

These are an added benefit which the Indian Government has provided with the express purpose of encouraging young citizens to invest in self-owned homes and thereby safeguard their and their children’s future.

  1. A Great Investment

Finally, it makes much more sense to pay monthly EMIs on a home loan, into an investment-grade asset, rather than pay monthly rent which is nothing but an expense with absolutely no returns on investment.

The above reasons should present a convincing argument for making the important decision of buying a home early in life.

The New Age ‘logic’ that it is better to live on rent simply does not hold water if one considers the multi-faceted advantages of investing in a self-owned home while one is young. It is true that it requires financial discipline to service a home loan, but this very desirable quality can never come too early.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Why The Monsoons Are The Optimal Time For Home Purchase

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

In India, the monsoons stand for a lot of things. Indoors, they set the ambience for pakodas and hot coffee while watching the rains freshen the air and trees. Outdoors, we navigate puddles, slippery roads and traffic jams. However, the monsoons also present the perfect time to scout for a new home.

There are good reasons for why the rainy season is the optimal time for house hunting. In the first place, overall demand tends to be subdued, since a majority of potential home seekers are averse to do site visits and home inspections while rains lash the city. Savvy buyers, on the other hand, are able to strike good deals with sellers on account of the muted demand.

The best time to negotiate 

Time is money for everyone selling real estate, so developers and investors are more willing to consider reasonable counter-offers on their asking prices when demand is more muted than usual.

Also, the first fortnight of the monsoon season coincides with pitru paksh, which traditional Indians consider an inauspicious time to make major investments in. The festival season that follows in the month of October is the usually the period which such people will focus on to make property investments.

For this reason, many developers offer attractive discounts during the monsoon period in order to boost their sales, which obviously presents a very good opportunity for buyers.

Apart from real estate developers, investors who are holding residential units will also generally offer to sell their properties at lower rates during the monsoon period. These discounts can range from anything to 5-15%, depending on the city and location.

These advantages to buyers that the monsoon period presents them with are further compounded by the fact that residential sales have been slow over the past 3-4 quarters.

During the lull period which comes in the monsoon season this year, sellers are therefore more willing than ever before to accommodate serious buyers looking for bargain rates.

Why The Monsoons Are The Optimal Time For Home Purchase

Seasonal special rates on home loans

It is not only discounted property rates which present buyers with an advantage during the monsoons. Even banks and other lending institutions generally come out with special offers on home loans in this season.

Even if no formal offers are announced, banks will tend to be more willing than usual to negotiate on their charges and interest rates on home loans.

No better time to determine product quality

For buyers who have had their eyes on certain shortlisted properties but have not taken the plunge so far, the monsoon period is the perfect time to make final inspections and close the deal.

The overall construction quality of a property is best determined during this period; while developers are less challenged to maintain their offerings in good, saleable condition during the other seasons, a few heavy downpours will reveal construction flaws such as seepages and leaks which can only be avoided by perfect waterproofing, flawless plumbing and high-quality window fittings.

In other words, the monsoons are the ideal time to judge the potential investment value of a new property, as well as investments on repairs that would need to be made in resale units.

If leaks and seepage are discovered before closing the deal on the property, the buyer can insist that the required waterproofing and other related repairs be carried out by the seller before signing on the dotted line.

The monsoons also reveal how traffic in the neighbourhood behaves when it has to slow down because of wet roads. In fact, some low-lying areas are prone to flooding, leading to immense traffic jams – this is a factor which can only be established during the monsoons. This kind of knowledge is very important to intending buyers who are unfamiliar with the locality.

In short, the monsoon period is probably the best of times to make one’s property investment in India. This is a little-known fact, but it can actually help buyers to get the best value for their property investment.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Family Influences In Property Buying: India’s Changing Trends

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Property investments are among the major decisions taken in a household. Those who finally bought their homes after living for years in rented properties will appreciate the relief associated with home ownership. The independence and security that a self-owned home provides are unmatched.

However, the decision to purchase a home is not always a straightforward one – there are various socio-cultural and economic processes associated with property purchase. In fact, these trends are closely studied by real estate developers and brokers. Among these factors, family influence is doubtlessly the strongest.

Changing family trends in property decision-making

In India, there was a time when only the male members of the family actually brought in the family income – and in a majority of cases, men were the sole decision makers in the family. All big financial decisions like buying property were made by the male head of the family, and such decisions were invariably accepted without any arguments.

Today, the scenario has changed completely. In more and more parts of India, men are no longer the sole breadwinners and decision-makers in a family. Women have become financially independent, often continue to be so after marriage and in fact work at the same levels as men.

A massive number of households in urban India now have dual incomes, and women have equal decision-making powers and often make decisions on behalf of the whole family. Definitely, when the issue is as important as property purchase, women have the right of an opinion regardless of whether they hold jobs or are housewives.

Stronger focus on children’s needs while purchasing homes 

Another factor that has changed in the family influences surrounding home purchase is that the preferences of adult family members are no longer the sole focal point.

Along with preferences and choices of adults including elders of the family, the needs of the children are now also being taken into consideration while buying a new property.

While choosing a home to buy, Indians parents are at considerable pains to establish whether their kids will have a safe, supportive and conducive environment.

In fact, this is one of the main reasons why most Indian families today prefer larger houses if they can afford them. They want their children to have space to play in, and not be endangered by crammed furniture and goods that need to be piled up to conserve space.

They also want to ensure that the property they buy has abundant ventilation and light, which they know as essential for their children’s health, growth and all-round wellbeing. In fact, the same considerations also apply for the safety and welfare of the elders of the family.

Family profile – going from joint to nuclear

In India, living in large joint families was historically the default trend. Many people lived in the same house with their individual families. Obviously, to accommodate so many people under the same roof, it was imperative that one had a very large home.

Usually, it was the senior male members of a joint family that got together and made important decisions affecting all the members; in the matter of home purchase, these decision-makers would look for large standalone properties which, among other things, could be enlarged to an extent when the family grew.

However, the traditional Indian concept of the joint family has seen a radical change; nuclear families are now the norm rather than the exception. Usually, a nuclear family consists of a couple and their children – period.

Obviously, nuclear families do not require nearly as much space as a joint family. The property buying decisions of a nuclear family are radically different from those of a joint family, both in terms of who make them and what the choices that are made.

What nuclear families look for while scouting for property 

  • Apartments:

Apart from the cost factor, maintaining an outsized property is tedious. The contemporary Indian nuclear family looks for homes that are compact, yet space-efficient – so apartments and flats are the natural choice. The choice of locations also opens up considerably when one opts for flats rather than standalone properties.

  • Proximity/accessibility to workplace, schools, healthcare and shopping:

Since there is lack of manpower in nuclear families, they look for facilities which are close by. For instance, they prefer buying homes which are either close to their places of work or offer good connectivity to them via public transport so that they can save time and money on transportation.

Proximity to their children’s school is important for reasons of safety and convenience. Daily needs must be met by availability of nearby shopping outlets, and medical facilities should be available to tackle emergencies without delay

  • Possibility to upgrade: 

While purchasing a property, the Indian nuclear family will invariably have an eye on the possibility of upgrading to a larger home in a better location in the future as financial capability improves.

If the current property or location do not offer enough scope on the resale market so as to facilitate such upgrading, savvy families will shy away from them.

  • Good neighborhood for the kids:

The focus on children’s wellbeing is sharper today than ever before. Indian parents will simply not want their kids to grow up in an unhealthy environment. Therefore, while buying property, they will ensure not only that the property itself is sound but also that the identified neighborhood is healthy and wholesome for their offspring.

This is why the availability of parks and playgrounds within the housing complex has become a matter of paramount importance for the new Indian family.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

How Long Does A Modern Concrete Building Last?

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Needless to say, the world is gradually becoming one big concrete jungle. Innumerable concrete buildings are being constructed for residential as well as commercial purposes globally. Given that people pay a lot of money for them, a natural question to ask is how long these concrete structures or buildings will last.

Building materials play a big role in deciding the longevity of a concrete structure. There have been instances where concrete buildings not more than 20 to 30 years old have collapsed. However, there are cases where concrete buildings that were constructed 100-150 years back are still going strong without any kinds of damage or problems. Unfortunately, the fact that housing projects are being mass-produced today has resulted in countless buildings being constructed with inferior quality materials.

Since all concrete buildings look the same to the untrained eye, it is very difficult to ascertain how long any one will last without needing serious structural repairs. While some buildings will last for more than 50 to 60 years without problems, some will start developing problems after few years of construction.

The designs used in concrete buildings also play a part in how long they will last. If we examine some old structures, it becomes apparent that they have thick columns, beams and slabs that provide superior support to the building. In many of today’s concrete buildings being raised by developers who are more concerned with cost-cutting than delivering quality products, the slabs that are used are merely few inches thick.

Concreting Work Construction Worker

Other than building materials and design, the longevity of a concrete building is also decided by the foundation. In concrete buildings that have lasted for 100 years or more, the foundation is deep and strong, set in ground soil that had been tested and confirmed for its ability to support heavy structures If the soil in a particular site is not strong enough, the foundation needs to go deeper so as to provide adequate anchorage and support.

Assuming that the developer has used a good building design by a qualified architect, that he has used good quality cement and steel, and that the foundation is adequate for the type of soil in the plot, a multi-storey apartment building will provide problem-free service for anything between 70 to 80 years or even longer. Within this period, regular maintenance of the building’s structure will need to be carried out, which a responsible developer who considers himself accountable for his products will undertake as a matter of course.

A badly constructed building which falls into neglect after all the units are sold may not last for more than 35 to 40 years before developing serious faults, along with all related dangers to the occupants.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Location Still The Top Consideration For Real Estate Investment

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Thanks to the fact that prices in the residential property sector have bottomed out across most cities, real estate as an investment class is back on the radar. The investment angle aside, buying a property is also on every end user’s wish list.

While looking for a suitable property either for investment or personal use, there are many factors that should be on one’s checklist before arriving at any decision. One way or the other, location plays an important role in all of them:

Look for a safe neighborhood

Certainly, you should look for the basic amenities that will provide comfort and convenience to your family or tenants. However, it is even more important to gauge the safety of the neighbourhood. A safe neighbourhood is one where one can move about freely and not remain confined indoors, regardless of the time of day.

Pertaining to today’s job environment and also social preferences in terms of enjoying the nightlife, home seekers require a locality where returning late at nights will not be an issue. This parameter should be the first to check while choosing a location. The most attractive property prices and amenities are of no value if one has to live in fear.

Distance from basic necessities of daily living

It is a fundamental fact of the property market that a locality with all the basic amenities within a couple of kilometers ranks higher on the desirability scale. These amenities should include a properly equipped hospital and a good school or college, but social infrastructure such as supermarkets, malls and places for leisurely activities must also be counted among the basic requirement of daily living.

Ease of commuting

It is common knowledge that the closer the property is to railway stations, metro stations or bus terminals, the more valuable it becomes. Today’s society is perpetually on the move, with at least one family member having to travel a certain distance to work and back every day. With the dual income family becoming more common, the importance of an area’s ’commutability’ rises.

In any case, the distance from a public transit facility plays a pivotal role in the cost of a property. If a family is not dependent on mass transit options, it is a given that it uses a personal vehicle. Also, many families have members who travel between adjoining cities like Pune and Mumbai regularly. In other words, good road connectivity and proximity to expressways and highways is important, and will play a role in the pricing of a property.

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In every city, there are localities that are defined by the type of office hubs or industries they host. Most cities will have areas where a number of Government offices or bank head offices are located, and others which have a high saturation of InfoTech firms.

From a residential demand perspective, these localities are obviously always the most preferred ones if they have attached residential catchments. If a walk-to-work option is not available, people working in these areas will definitely prefer the shortest possible commute.

Future developments

If one is on a constrained budget, then the best areas to invest in a property are those which are not fully developed yet. Homes in such areas are cheaper when compared to their counterparts in fully developed localities, but will see higher property valuations over the mid-to-long terms. The localities that have been earmarked for future infrastructure developments are the best to invest.

Areas such as Devanahalli and Bannerghatta Road in Bengaluru, Panvel and New Panvel in Mumbai and Undri and Ambegaon in Pune are examples of localities which have seen rapid increases in property values starting from a relatively lower base.

They are well-connected to the main city and provide all the basic social amenities that home buyers look for but still have more affordable housing valuations when compared to the main city rates.

High-value locations – pros and cons

It is definitely not true that the cheapest properties are always the best to invest in. Going by the location yardstick which holds true in all real estate investment, the cheapest locations are usually the most remote or least likely to see future development.

However, it is definitely true that the costliest properties will usually see the least capital value growth in the future. Invariably, such properties have seen saturation of price growth and are less likely to offer any positive returns in terms of capital appreciation even though they tend to be located in high-value areas.

However, extremely costly properties are very likely to give very good rental returns, because people who want to live in these areas but cannot afford to buy properties there will choose the rental option. The tenants who prefer such properties would be highly-paid corporate executives and even firms who are looking to lease such a property as their company guesthouse.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.