Thursday, 2 April 2015

Villa vanity - The new palaces of Gurgaon

Three years ago, when Sujatha Sinha booked a luxurious villa on Sohna Road, she was still in doubt. She was not sure whether a villa, with the huge investment involved, would be the right decision in the long run. Gurgaon market was riding high with several luxury apartment projects being launched in the city, and there were very few villa projects in the luxury segment. Three years down the line, however, the situation seems to be changing. Villas are now the savoir-faire among the well-heeled gentry of the Millennium City.

“When we booked our luxury villa in Sohna Road, we were not sure whether this project would find many buyers. Everyone we knew was in favour of grabbing a luxe apartment in the city as, according to them, apartments offered security and an enhanced concept of community living, along with amenities and luxuries that are on offer. Nonetheless, with our villa completed and replete with all luxuries that we wished for, we are very happy over our decision,“ says Sinha, who is preparing to shift to her dream home soon.

The luxury housing segment in Gurgaon seems to be shifting gradually from apartments to villas, which are a part of integrated projects, and are sated with amenities that are not only on a par with those available in luxury apartments of the city, even better! The Millennium City, which is known as the quintessence luxury-living hub of India, has witnessed the evolution of luxury over the last one decade. The initial encounter of the city with luxury was in the form of luxury apartments, which kept on improving with time.

A concept that originated long ago has come full circle now and, therefore, the need to evolve more in the domain led to the need for something new and more versatile, especially one that can give luxury a completely new dimension. Therefore, industry players shifted focus from apartments to villas when it came to offering something new to buyers.

Santhosh Kumar, CEO (operations) and international director of JLL India, says that the positioning of the city as the ultimate luxury destination has also been instrumental in this gradual shift.

“Gurgaon remains a hot market for the super luxury housing segment as it has a generous complement of buyers with high financial clout and, therefore, aspirations to own such homes. The city is home to a good number of HNIs who account for a lot of demand for projects launched in this category. This is the reason why luxury is always evolving and bringing in new trends in the city,“ Kumar said.

The city has been going through a sea change in luxury housing since inception. What started as apartments with good amenities and beautiful surroundings gradually led to the launch of branded homes, with international names bringing in the super luxury component to the product and adding to its brand value in design and architecture being associated with the project.

Another trend which emerged strongly was themed homes which followed from French to Roman to Spanish and the likes the latest being luxury villas.

Buyers who were earlier reluctant to invest in villas are now embracing this trend, as these villas provide all luxuries and security of a luxe apartment and also the advantage of an independent house, which enables one to live peacefully without the disturbing noise from the neighbouring apartment! “With Gurgaon successfully positioning itself as the most prime and desirable business destination in the northern part of the country, the saturation of affluent CxO-level [corporate executives whose job titles typically start with `chief' and end with `officer', also called C-level] individuals is high. Additionally, the city is also the destination of choice for investors with large investment appetite as they can expect handsome returns for their investments.

“Therefore, it remains an obvious choice for the developers in the city to bring on new and improvised additions to the luxury offerings for buyers and the trend of villas is just one of them,“ Santhosh Kumar of JLL India said.

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