Developers offer AI, Home automation to lure new-age buyers

Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are no longer buzzwords even for real estate developers as they increasingly deploy these as well as home automation to lure homebuyers. Developers are warming up to the idea of putting home automation products into their offering, a late addition to the standard amenities list. Given the cost factor, developers refrained from deploying these products before. A huge reduction in technology and deployment costs have helped. Platforms that use cloud-based algorithms and sensor technologies monitoring the indoor environment and alerting residents for corrective actions are also being deployed to bring wellness intelligence into the connected home environment.

“Real estate is no longer confined to a brick-and-mortar structure with developers constantly looking for ways to offer value to their customers. It has evolved into creating a healthy environment for people to live, work and play, thereby improving the health and quality of life of households around the world,” said Shishir Baijal, CMD, Knight Frank India. Wifi-enabled home automation products like video door panels, motion sensor-based light, and security management and appliance control products that remote manage air condition, television, geysers and other electricity drawing appliances that are app-controlled are slowly becoming a part of new developments, especially in the metro areas.

Source: The Economic Times, Tuesday 9 October 2018

5-stars near airport get devpt bonanza

Five-star hotels around the international airport in Sahar, Andheri (east), have received a big land bonanza from the state government. Under the latest development control regulations, they can utilize most of the reserved public recreational ground in their possession. Till now, such hotels could carry out construction on only 50% of their plots and had to reserve the remaining half as recreational ground (RG) to be open to the public for certain hours a day. Now, they have to give the BMC only 10% of the total plot area (or 20% of the half reserved for RG).

Civic sources say this will lead to more construction and expansion of more five-star hotels around the airport. This will also help some hotels that had not made constructions on some area of the plot that had to be reserved as RG. The change in the development control regulations will lead to a generation of additional FSI for the hotel owners for expansion of their buildings or constructing new ones, sources in BMC say. While the decision could see a rise in the number of hotel rooms, it also means recreational grounds for the public has been reduced by 90% over the years, as all these plots were marked as RG in the city’s first development plan-1967.

Source: The Times of India, Saturday 13 October 2018

Festivals help to accelerate realty growth

For most individuals, buying property is a one-time activity as they pool their entire savings to fulfill this one dream. Considering the importance and value of the purchase, most buyers wait for an auspicious occasion to make the big and expensive investment. There is a significant rise in home sales and in enquires about newly launched housing projects. Realty sector has undergone several changes, and buyers’ confidence is back, who is once again considering property market as a lucrative option to invest in. “Going by the Hindu belief, buyers find festivals to be auspicious occasions to buy property. Even developers prefer to launch new projects and perform bhumi pujan coinciding with the festive season. This year, we feel that Dussehra will bring in good response as buyers are gearing up to invest in real estate, especially to avail the benefits offered to them,” said Deepak Goradia, vice chairman and managing director of a leading realty firm.

Best Time to Buy: Festive season means discounts and offers everywhere. Besides retail, the realty industry to has been attracting buyers by offering unique festive discounts, and developers will continue to give great deals this season as well. According to experts, attractive deals easily compel buyers to walk in for more information about the project. From having a special payment plan, giving a huge discount on property and car parking space, free club membership to offering free interior designing or modular kitchen set-up, such offers have resulted in increasing the footfalls of buyers for project enquiries and housing sales.

While some developers are asking buyers to pay only 20 percent initially and the rest post-completion, others have offered concessions on down payments. Keeping in view that these discounts are for a limited period, consumers have begun to enquire promptly about the projects, thus pushing the sales. Moreover, many buyers who have already zeroed in on their property, prefer to wait for the festive season to make the final deal in order to enjoy attractive discounts and offers. According to experts, the realty market at present has witnessed a vast transformation and end-users and investors are again keen on making purchase decisions in the right kind of housing project. Hence, developers are confident that this year’s festive season will bring about a positive sentiment in the industry.

Source: The Times of India, Saturday 13 October 2018

Realtors see a massive opportunity in India’s growing elderly population

By 2026, India’s elderly could rise to 173 million, more than double what it was two decades ago and accounting for 12.5% of the population, a figure that could rise to 19.5% by 2050. The projected numbers provided by the Population Census 2011 will amount to more than the entire population of Russia. For the real estate sector, it represents massive opportunities, particularly as current housing for senior people is minimal. Developers are excited about the potential and say they see interest in the sector accelerating. Ankur Gupta, joint managing director of Ashiana Housing, which has built around 1,800 apartments for senior citizens, says that an annual conclave they organize on senior housing usually draws up to 50 delegates, both from real estate and health care.

One industry expert says that in the last three years, several players have jumped into space. “The Brigade Group and Mantri Developers kicked off projects in the last couple of years and Tata Housing launched one project in Goa and one in Bengaluru,” said one expert.  Last year, the Gagan Group launched a project in Lonavala featuring luxury apartments for senior citizens. Other prominent players in the sector include Paranjape Schemes, Ansal API, the Ashiana Group and Covai. Most existing and planned senior living projects are in the satellite towns of major metros and include Kochi, Jaipur, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Rishikesh, Goa, and Mathura.

Kamal Khetan, chairman and managing director of Sunteck Realty which focuses on the luxury real estate (amongst other segments), says his development plate is full right now but he does not rule out senior living in the future. “Senior housing is a massive opportunity which at the same time adds to the triple bottom line of giving back to society which is always a plus for any industry.” The current shortage of housing can be seen in Anarock Property Consultants research which suggests that around 4,500 senior living units are available in the market.

Source: Business Standard, Monday 15 October 2018

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