Homes and gardens

Quality scores, along with amenities

Cost reduction is no longer the sole concern for buyers in affordable housing projects. By M.A. Siraj

The new policy push to affordable housing has given rise to competition among private players in offering quality products to buyers. Customers are also increasingly getting aware of the brands vying with each other to deliver newer amenities. A recent study by Knight Frank, the global property consultants, reveals that buyers opt for developers/brands that offer better quality and score high on ‘quality of life’ index.

A pan-India survey covering purchasers, new occupiers and the ones intending to buy affordable homes in 15 tier-I and tier-II cities finds that developers who have blended facilities such as schools, offices, shopping and leisure activities in the projects have scored high on the ‘Quality of Life’ index.

The most significant difference the competition has done is that it has knocked off cost reduction as the key element while foraying into the sector. Other crucial factors such as lifestyle of the targeted population, incorporating the preferences and choices of the end-users, and corresponding customer satisfaction are now gaining precedence.

Product quality was accorded the top priority by as many as 77% of respondents. Brand name was cited by 72% while brand visibility, quality of completed projects and transparency and clarity in pricing were key influencers for 56% buyers of affordable homes. Features and amenities provided and track record in delivery of units were chosen by 55%. Nearly half the respondents (49%) said they went by the number of projects the developer had completed. Pre-sales service was the consideration for 44% while meticulous compliance with regulations such as RERA and developers’ assistance in seeking loan were cited by 38% and 36% respondents respectively.

Preferences

Why did the people choose to buy homes? Fifty three per cent were keen to have house for self-use; 48% were looking for a house in a better location and facilities; 44% wanted a house of their own as they were expecting increase in family size in the near future; 37% wanted to create an asset; 34% sought an upgradation of their house; 23% wanted it as they needed to come out of the joint family; and, 19% to get a taste of lifestyle. The survey covered Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Indore, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, and Coimbatore. 79% of the respondents were male while 21% were female.

Majority of those surveyed (65%) intended to opt for apartment/flat followed by independent house concept. In larger cities, however, apartment culture had gained deep roots as it came within the parameter of affordability while independent houses were out of the realm due to the cost factor.

A close linkage existed between their current residence and consideration for moving to another house. Top among the reasons cited were space for vehicle parking, safety and security, and presence of civic infrastructure such as roads and water supply.

Though reduction of cost is not the sole consideration for buyers, 80 per cent said cost was the prime motivator if amenities and facilities and access to civic infrastructure among the various developers were comparable.

Top concerns while buying affordable homes were safety and security (73%); quality of construction (71%); timely delivery (65%); reliability of the developer (64%); return on investment (64%); quality of electrical, bathroom fittings used (56%); maintenance of property (49%); and, other owners who would be co-residents (23%).

Since 2016, the residential market of the top eight cities within the country has witnessed an infusion of 0.57 million units. According to Knight Frank Research, the high share of ₹25 lakh ticket size within this indicates the impetus the policy has received among the private developers who have enthusiastically participated in realising the goal of ‘Housing for all by 2022’.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 11:50:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/quality-scores-along-with-amenities/article30703785.ece

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