Behind the gates

Is investment in a gated community a luxury or a necessity?

December 24, 2021 12:13 pm | Updated 12:13 pm IST

Ongole, Andhra Pradesh, 12/02/2020: A self-contained gated community provides the right ambiance for safe and secure living in fast-growing Ongole, in Ongole on February 12, 2020. Photo: Kommuri Srinivas / The Hindu

Ongole, Andhra Pradesh, 12/02/2020: A self-contained gated community provides the right ambiance for safe and secure living in fast-growing Ongole, in Ongole on February 12, 2020. Photo: Kommuri Srinivas / The Hindu

By 2026, the demand for gated communities will increase by 2.5x reaching $500 billion, as reported by one of the leading management consulting firms, Redseer. It has also been projected that in the next five years, there will be at least 24 million households that reside in gated communities of India.

Even though most of us must have noticed the mass construction of gated communities in both metros and small cities, these numbers are huge and unexpected. Though independent houses are still in existence, the surge in demand for a flat/ apartment in a gated community is quite significant. The pandemic has played a significant role here, with people recognising the importance of social interaction and community living.

Work from home has allowed us more time to explore our interests and hobbies, making use of the amenities present on campus, be it for a quick jog or a workout. Moreover, higher disposable income, increased living standards, and in general demand for a healthy ecosystem for one’s family are the key drivers for this kind of surge in demand for residences in gated communities.

Expensive deal

With almost 32% of the total population living in big cities, gated communities are much lesser than the independent houses/ locality. The main reason behind this gap is the overall expenses to run a household. These additional expenses are due to the amenities provided like power backup, full-time security, recreational facilities, etc. Having said that, there seems to be a gradual increase in demand for gated communities due to bundled advantages offered by them.

The first and foremost is the 24x7 security arrangement. Full-time surveillance that is non-intrusive with CCTV cameras and staff is a staple of such townships.

Second, the beauty of the holistic living environment is created in every residential community or township. Outdoor amenities such as parks, jogging/ walking tracks ensure children don’t have to wander out for their evening playtime and elders can have their morning walk within a safe perimeter. It is an ecosystem of its own — a place for all age groups.

Higher standards of living have created a huge demand for bigger houses, a better environment, and a lot of space with no compromise on safety and security. Such aspirations thus have contributed to the growth of community living in recent years. A lot of NRIs and HNI also consider investing in a gated community a wise decision. NRIs are motivated by economic uncertainties and HNIs from the prospects of future returns. It is reported that 82% of NRI’s investment is directed towards ready-to-move homes in gated communities. They also boast a much better ROI for resale and a promise of a better lifestyle, all within the campus.

Young buyers

We have started seeing a trend in the younger generation, especially in Bengaluru, to move into a community that has good amenities. This ongoing quarter has seen considerable growth in sales — three times as much as compared to last year. Moreover, customers during this season are confident, displaying genuine interest in buying/ investing in the property, resulting in stronger numbers for genuine inquiries. The overall site visits have also doubled since last year.

This surge in numbers is not limited just to our domestic market, as there’s been a 2x rise in sales for the same project in the NRI market compared to the last festive season. These numbers are a clear indication of what the future holds for gated communities.

You can expect an increase in the number of buyers of gated community residences in the years to come. With increased demand, there would be better architecture, services, amenities, decor, sustainable design on display for the prospective investors. The concept of gated communities promotes a holistic vision that is ideal for the entire family and thus will be the ultimate choice for many homebuyers.

The writer is AVP, Sales and Marketing, Karle Infra Pvt. Ltd.

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