Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Developers look to the hills for luxury housing

With the consumer appetite for luxury housing growing, top real estate developers are looking at hills stations to cash in on the demand. Companies such as DLF and Tata Housing have launched projects to cater to the HNI clientele who seek holiday homes for retreat.

Amit Goyal, CEO, North India Sotheby’s International Realty, the Indian arm of the US-based property brokerage firm, says: “Developers are increasingly becoming interested in the hills, and are offering luxury gated communities. The properties in Kasauli and Shimla, typically ₹3 crore and upwards, are witnessing traction from corporates and NRIs from Punjab.

The brokerage has seen three-fold rise in queries in the last six months, he added.

However, Anuj Puri, Chairman and Country Head, JLL India, has a word of caution. While it is a dynamic sector which will gather momentum, but given that the best locations for such projects are restricted in terms of available space, there is a logical limit to how far it can be exploited before it reaches a saturation point, he said. DLF has launched homes in the hills under the ‘Sama’ series with two projects -- Samatara- Shimla and Samavana- Kasauli. Ananta Singh Raghuvanshi, Executive Director - Sales & Marketing, DLF Universal Ltd, says: “The Shimla project has 24 holiday homes, priced at ₹6 crore, and the construction is in an advanced stage. The development work for the 58-acre Kasauli project is also in full swing.” Samavana- Kasauli, with plots, apartments and villas on offer, will be a no-carbon zone with restricted movement of vehicles. Going forward, the company will focus on developing holiday homes at Himachal Pradesh and Goa.

Tata Housing has launched MYST in Kasauli with 76 housing units starting at ₹4 crore. Brotin Banerjee, MD & CEO, Tata Housing, says: “There has been a rise in demand for second homes from residents of Delhi and Chandigarh. The luxury housing market is currently seeing a greater influx of end-user demand, in contrast to the previous trend of investment-driven purchases.”

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