Luxury means different things in different cities, developers agreed, discussing the concept at the Hindustan Times Luxury Realty Conclave on Wednesday.
They compared luxury standards in Mumbai with those in New Delhi and global cities such as London, where the term is usually used to indicate that the homes are much more spacious, while also featuring world-class design.
Exactly what constitutes luxury in Mumbai, however, remained a matter for debate, with some developers saying a short commute was topmost on homebuyers’ minds and others arguing that space and amenities mattered more.
“In Mumbai, there are many businessmen and traders who can afford to, and want to, live in posh locations close to their workplaces,” said Kailash Agarwal, chairman of Nish Developers. “Even 11,000-sq-ft homes are selling in areas such as Worli, despite the high rates.”
Dharmesh Jain, chairman and MD of Nirmal Lifestyle, disagreed, saying that a luxury residential project should be able to sustain itself in a developing suburb.
“There is land shortage in Mumbai and to have spacious homes with balconies, lobbies, parking spaces, swimming pools and clubhouses, one has to look towards far-off suburbs,” he said. “People do not mind travelling and living a little away from the main city if their home and their surroundings provide a comfortable lifestyle.”
The one thing all developers agreed on was that homebuyers would benefit from a higher floor-space index, which would allow developers to build taller structures, particularly in prime areas.
Builders also emphasised the need for good after-sale service. “Luxury is a complete experience, from start to finish,” said Sandeep Runwal, director of Runwal Group. “We need to ensure that the homebuyer’s lifestyle is also luxurious and that all amenities are in place.” Runwal added that India needs a firm or service that provides maintenance of luxury projects.