Branded Residences in India – A story of deep pocket game!
Sentiments change with time. And, for the ones that do not change, circumstances induce the much-needed reversal in thought process to suit the occasion. Even Indian real-estate sector is witnessing a similar play of sentimental game.
The global recession formed a picture of a perfect gloom for the real-estate sector that went high-and-dry in terms of its funding and debt requirements. Further, to avail the stimulus measures from the RBI to support the ailing sector, the industry had to undergo a gradual grind in softening prices and shifting its focus on demand-based affordable housing projects.
However, now that the economy has recovered, realty projects catering to deep pockets with high-end housing requirements are back on the radar of developers. Moreover, even the serviced apartments (and, now, branded homes) equipped with the entire range of amenities and services at your door step, have emerged out of this concept.
This reminds me of a mail narration by a friend with regard to his experience of living in a serviced apartment which is, in fact, highly common in other countries:
When I was in Bangkok from Dec 2006 to April 2007, I stayed at one such serviced apartment. And it was not a branded one like the ones that are cropping-up these days.
One real estate company constructed 3 high rise towers (33 floors with 20 flats of 1 BHK/2BHK apartments making a total of 2000 flats in all). Each flat was sold to an individual. The individuals rented out the flats, as the property is in prime location and rents were good. The flats are not only furnished but also serviced (daily services like dish wash, floor mopping, all bed sheets and pillow covers changed every week, free laundry services for the tenants, daily removal of garbage, etc). As tenants, we simply pay rent. The company deducts fee from the rent and pays rest to the owner. I don’t remember exactly but for a 1BHK flat I used to pay USD.1000 per month. The company deducts USD.200 and pays USD.800 to the owner. For 2,000 flats, the company gets 400,000 dollars per month and approximately between 3 to 4 million dollars per annum for maintaining the property. As additional income source, they have swimming pool (paid service to tenants only), small super market, internet cafe, gym (paid service) spa cum massage parlor, a small restaurant, all of which generates additional revenue for them.
I came across a similar concept in a report which said that global hotel firms and domestic realty developers are tying up with each other to market the latest in high living in the country. It is nothing but a home defined by sophisticated furnishings, interiors, landscaping and equipped with impeccable services delivered by global hospitality giants at your door step.
In short, it is akin to outright sale of serviced residences in branded category, to you. A step closer to relishing services of five-star category from international hotel chains such as Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Trump, Starwood Group, etc., in association with domestic realty players such as Nitesh Estates and Oberoi Realty amongst others.
The report also points towards a couple of indicators which says that a higher number of high net-worth individuals are choosing luxury properties in cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore where the demand for high-end residences have more than doubled last year. This has led to a sudden rush to build branded residences in luxury property destinations.
My question to our readers being – Is this also a strong economy-driven sentimental uptrend, which could fizzle out with some slowdown?