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Homes get a designer fillip

business Updated: Jan 02, 2010 01:07 IST
Vivek Sinha

Selling luxury houses is acquiring a new lingo — customisation.

Buyers can now pick and choose the brands of chandeliers, sanitary ware, kitchen appliances and even home furnishings that would be fitted in their lavish condominiums as developers jostle against each other to sell high-end houses priced upwards of Rs 1 crore.

The idea is to inject an element of uniqueness in each flat in an apartment despite similar super-structures.

DLF, for instance, is allowing buyers of its super-premium luxury projects such as Aralias, Belaire and Park Place at Gurgaon to use the services of architects to specify the interior design. The alterations allow changes in bath fittings, flooring and minor tweaking in the structure.

“Our aim is to provide exclusive living experience ensconced in luxury, which can only be taken care of if we account for the unique tastes and preferences of the customers,” a senior DLF executive told Hindustan Times.

Mumbai-based Ackruti City Developers’ have offered similar options. “We are offering four different standards of customised interior options for an individual to choose from in our residential project Jewell at Andheri in Mumbai,” company chairman Hemant Shah said.

“The idea behind the initiative is to make living a unique and pleasurable experience for an individual buying flats in the company’s residential projects,” Shah said.

Analysts, however, said developers would have to carefully walk the wedge to ensure that there is no slip up in quality. “The customers should ensure that the quality issues are taken care off well,” said Anuj Puri, chairman of real estate consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

Ansal API is planning similar such initiatives in its luxury villas and apartments at its Greater Noida’s Megapolis and Lucknow’s Sushant City project.

“Customisation requires redoing the interiors of an apartment, which escalates the cost. While the buyer of a luxury villa is willing to shell out extra money for the ambience, the same may not be applicable for mid-income buyers for whom price is the sole important factor,” said Ansal API spokesperson.

Millennium Spire— a Singapore-based private equity fund —plans to offer customised options for its mid-income housing projects as well.

“Instead of the pre-conceived built up apartments, we will offer floor areas for sale in which the end-user would decide upon the number of rooms to be built on the area bought,” Ashish Bhalla, managing director, Millennium Spire, said.

Bhalla said the company would launch 5,000 such units over the next few weeks at Gurgaon. These “apartments-on-demand” will be priced in the range of Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per sq ft. “Architectural customisation will be the unique selling proposition for our houses,” Bhalla said.

Average size of a residential unit has been coming down in recent years “We will give them such choices.”. The customisation bug, however, has not bitten all real estate developers.

Unitech, Parsvnath and Omaxe said they do not have any plans to offer any customisation in their apartments. “We do not have any projects in our portfolio wherein we would like to offer customisation to our customers,” said R. Nagaraju, general manager corporate planning, Unitech.

Spokespersons for Parsvnath and Omaxe too denied any such offering by the companies in their real estate projects.