Why Your House Worth Rs 2 Crore Is Luxury No More
Immaculately designed, tastefully adorned, and making your pockets feel real light, this would have meant luxury housing for most of us. However, the concept of luxury cannot be contained in such definitions anymore. If prices were the measure, it seems to have outweighed already. If space was the concept, many Indian cities have already hit this hard.
Here are a few myths busted:
The great rupee fall
When Vasant Shastri bought a 3BHK unit in Delhi's Mayur Vihar for Rs 80,000 in 2005, little would he have thought that by 2015, prices would have climbed to Rs 2 crore. What changed over the decade?
Salaries rose sharply, the Bull Run between 2003-2008 made sure that the tag lakhpati lost its glamour and inflation, too, took its toll on the health of the Indian currency. It reflected mostly on real estate prices that soared never to fall down in any of the later years.
The concept of space, too, changed over the years. You might have grown up in a big mansion surrounded by an orchard; the space could would have been sufficient to keep four generations of a family. That luxury is no more. Small 1BHK units in a central business district like the Bandra-Kurla Complex command as much as Rs 45,000 per sq ft, and the prices run into crores simply because the value of that morsel of land is directly proportional to the value of the nature of business in the vicinity.
Those living in Mumbai would know the price of a spacious house in a central location. Some prospective buyers who did not want much of a cultural displacement opted for a sensitively priced alternative, which is Pune. While Pune gives you the luxury of space, prices have gone up significantly. Today, the Pune luxury market does not have anything less than Rs 4 crore and goes up to Rs 20 crore. International brands in the city have further inched up the glamour of this niche market. In Mumbai, if you are buying luxury which is a spacious house, technologically enabled, the price you may have to pay will be nothing less than Rs 40 crore. There stands the real price of luxury and studies showed that the tinsel town houses the maximum number of ultra-high net worth individuals followed by Delhi.
At a time when both the government as well as the industry is chasing to realise the goal of Housing for All, perhaps technology in homes remains a far cry. However, the success of another Central project, the Smart City Mission, depends heavily on information and communication technologies.
Not only is there a need to make cities smarter, homes need to be smart, too. Yash Joshi, managing director of RMZ Homes, prioritises on two things: location and technology. He says that a high price tag alone is not an epitome of luxury. Most industry insiders would agree to that. A smart heating and cooling system, energy-efficient equipment, automated applications and the like go a long way to define luxury in today's world.
Who is thy neighbour?
Luxury developers cater to a niche crowd who value their neighbourhood as much as they do their privacy and upkeep. This is why when you talk about a house near a Bollywood hotshot, others identify you as a who's who too. Status sells and when there is enough money to buy it, why not?
Also, crowded areas or mass housing localities do not comprise luxury because what everybody can afford is definitely not niche. Developers are coming out selling the dream of a lifestyle in the form of one family per floor concept that guarantees space as well as serenity.
Times are changing and so is the definition of luxury.