India’s luxury housing segment has undergone several significant transformations in recent years. Previously, luxury housing was primarily defined by expansive homes in prestigious addresses. This definition has evolved, however, to include modern amenities, sophisticated finishes, and cutting-edge technology. With hybrid work re-emphasising the importance of owning a home, homebuyers are demonstrating an inclination towards residences that offer an elevated lifestyle and seamlessly integrate these new models of work with flexible layouts, designated work areas, natural light and ventilation, outdoor spaces, and other features that cater to their overall wellbeing. Today’s luxury homebuyers comprise the Gen-Z, Millennials, HNIs, and NRIs, who are well-travelled and are looking for a continuation of their global lifestyle. There has been an uptick in the ownership of luxury homes, with recent industry reports showing luxury housing sales growing 151% year-on-year (YoY) in the first quarter of calendar 2023.
Within the luxury housing space, we have seen the following design trends:
Discerning buyers look not just at extravagantly designed residences but also at features that add to a holistic living experience, keeping sustainability and personal welfare at the centre. India Sotheby’s International Realty’s Luxury Outlook Survey 2023 showed that 11% of respondents feel that sustainable features, including renewable energy, water recycling, and waste management are crucial factors in their property purchase decisions. More and more developers are incorporating green technologies and materials into their projects, such as rainwater harvesting systems, natural ventilation, solar panels, and energy-efficient appliances, which has the dual outcome of reducing their carbon footprint and utility costs. Devices that are being integrated to make more environmentally friendly homes include air purification, smart lighting, thermostat control, greenhouse monitoring systems, humidity control sensors, and many more.
Further to the features within the home, developers are prioritising the creation of compatible communities where residents can engage and connect with like-minded individuals. To meet this demand, developers are designing modern and sophisticated spaces where residents feel a sense of belonging. In addition to luxurious amenities such as deluxe clubs, fine-dining experiences, sports facilities, and spas, residents demonstrate interest in opportunities for mental well-being, art and cultural programmes, and other leisure offerings. The shift towards community-based rather than independent living is crucial for establishing lasting relationships between residents.
Having an indoor-outdoor space that blends the best of both worlds is a much-desired luxury. Whether you’re enjoying your pool or garden, having access to a kitchen or bathroom makes all the difference. Many luxury homes in India are designed to seamlessly merge indoor and outdoor living spaces with features such as large windows, sliding glass doors, and outdoor kitchens. Post-pandemic, the demand for design elements that promote health, such as ventilation systems for optimised indoor air quality, natural light features, and dedicated areas for physical activity, has also seen a rise.
Technology plays an essential role in real estate developments — right from construction to planning and designing homes and delivering an enjoyable customer experience journey. Today’s homebuyers look for luxury homes that align with their aspirations, including tech-enabled solutions that facilitate ease of living at the touch of a button. Remote control of lighting, temperature, and security systems, as well as car-charging stations, are highly sought after. Luxury homebuyers also seek features such as virtual reality rooms, home theatres, and high-speed internet connectivity to enhance their overall living experience. Smart living solutions, along with technology-led design, keep up with urban trends and provide social benefits to residents.
Safety and security are paramount concerns for luxury homebuyers. Developers collaborate with trusted brands to provide the best security, both in terms of personnel and electronic monitoring and surveillance. Luxury properties offer 24-hour surveillance, panic buttons, fire safety devices, video door monitoring, motion sensors, intrusion sensors, and more.
IoT-enabled developments, advanced safety measures, and other technological improvements have fostered connected communities and more opulent lifestyles. As homebuyers continue to prefer larger homes, sustainability and well-being, better amenities and services will keep them interested in investing in this burgeoning asset class.
The writer is executive president, Residential Business, Embassy Group.