Affordable housing, amusement parks, education and logistic hubs and healthcare are among the niche areas that are developing in the real estate sector, according to a FICCI-Ernst & Young report.

Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath released the report on “Building new dimensions for real estate growth” at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) South India Real Estate conference here recently.

Till 2000, the real estate sector was mostly restricted to housing, commercial and industrial segments. But now there are new asset classes such as entertainment, healthcare, education, transit-oriented real estate and housing conducive for senior citizens. These concepts have added a new dimension to the sector and they are expected to spur growth, and attract the attention of developers and investors, says the report.

The FICCI-Ernst & Young report states that several developers have recognised the opportunity in senior citizen housing segment. The report mentions 40 such projects that were proposed till April 2013 in South India, and of them, seven are in Bangalore. The senior citizen housing segment, according to the report, caters not only to ambient residential space but also to healthcare, security, and emotional needs of the residents.

Making a mention of the potential for further growth of the real estate sector in Bangalore, the report states that Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi in South India have the potential to be developed as aerotropolises (airport cities).

Aerotropolise is a new urban plan which places airports in the centre with cities growing around them, connecting workers, suppliers, executives, and goods to the global marketplace. The idea is to plan the growth of the city around the airport in a radius of about 25 km to increase non-aeronautical revenue.

Besides, yet another development is the proposal of corporate groups to establish sports cities in Bangalore. The objective is to promote sports by providing world class facilities. Such sports cities, coming under the entertainment segment, are expected to spur growth of sports-themed residential townships.

The report stated that the amusement park industry, though in the nascent stage, is expected to grow. It pointed out that of the 42 such parks in South India, eight are in Karnataka.

Referring to Manipal, where a village was transformed into a university town, the report said that it is one of the examples for education real estate in South India. The report identified the growth potential of education real estate in the light of requirement for integrated education cities to provide quality education along with amenities to students and faculty.

Similarly, the report pointed out at health cities and medical cities that attract other real estate developments such as serviced apartments and hotels for medical tourists.