Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.
Over the past two decades, Pune has seen rapid growth of the IT culture. In the beginning, this culture was limited to employees of the city’s many IT/ITES parks – today, it has touched almost everyone who lives in Pune.
The cyber revolution in this city is inescapable – those who do not own computers populate internet cafes. The current generation of young people below age 30 is defined by computer savviness, and these are the people who will usher the city into the future. Naturally, this revolution has had a very distinct impact on the kinds of homes that younger people choose to buy today.
Whether they are working in Pune’s innumerable software companies and IT-enables services firms or in some other sector, the young home buyers today have developed their own criteria for what constitutes an ideal home. ‘Smart’ homes are now in vogue not only with IT/ITES employees – every home buyer from the middle and upper-middle class is looking for residences that support a cyber-driven lifestyle.
That said, the highest demand for smart homes in Pune still stems from people working in software parks and IT companies. This can be largely attributed to a combination of their exposure to IT-driven concepts and the sizable pay packets they tend to draw.
After all, there is a premium attached to homes with ‘smart’ features. The extent to which the cost rises above that of baseline residential property prices in a certain location depends on how many of these features have been included in the project.
For Pune’s gadget-conscious IT professionals, automated homes are definitely de rigueur and something to aspire for. In the past, smart homes were considered something of a niche concept, owing to the larger ticket sizes.
At their best, Pune’s smart homes offer technological features wherein home owners can operate almost anything in their homes (including lights, air conditioners, security systems, curtains and blinds) from within and even outside at the touch or click of a button.
Today, smart home technology uses user-friendly software that allows simplified control of climate, lighting, entertainment and communication. The technology involved impacts three key areas – energy efficiency, security systems and telecom systems.
In Pune, the buyers for smart homes fall in the age group of 29-40. They are either established in senior roles within the IT/ITES, manufacturing or services sectors, or are upwardly mobile, highly aspirational and eminently qualified for home loans.
They also tend to be quite stressed-out by their professions, and therefore seek the comforts, enablement and security that smart homes offer as a means to relax and generate more time to spend with their families.
Moreover, smart homes have a definite status value attached to them and tend to have higher resale value because of their locations, which are either close to the city’s IT hubs or in upscale areas which are defined by higher purchasing power and therefore higher lifestyle aspirations.
The biggest success stories in Pune’s smart homes revolution so far have been Baner, Aundh, Kalyaninagar and Magarpatta. Other locations where smart homes are in high demand are Sakal Nagar near Aundh and Ambegaon.
Appreciation of such properties is also influenced by the very nature of the features that make life simpler, safer, more comfortable and more exciting.
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