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Independent Homes And Villas: Homebuyers' Hub For an Exclusive Living With a Space Beyond Highlighting the essence of privacy and larger homes, a recent survey indicates that 86.8 per cent of the respondents prefer living in an independent home or a villa

By Shaishav Dharia

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The residential real estate sector has undergone a drastic change after a prolonged period of our staying indoors. The COVID-19 outbreak accentuated the importance of having a home more than ever. Resultant to a considerable alteration in lifestyle due to the pandemic, the preferences of today's home seekers evolved to cater the changing requirements and to aptly fit in the current scenario.

With an increasing demand for larger homes and spacious arenas, the preferences moved beyond to include an exclusive and low density living. Consequently, people have started foraying into plotted developments and independent homes or villas. With ample open spaces, plots and villas offer an added benefit of customizing the home as per one's liking. Privacy, safety, round-the-clock security, availability of essential amenities and easy accessibility are yet another few choices in line in a present day homebuyer's checklist. Meeting all these criterion, villas within gated communities have emerged as the most sought after category, setting a new trend in real estate buying.

To further understand these changing nitty-gritties, Lodha Developers conducted an online survey with about 3,000 participants. According to the survey, a whopping 86.8 per cent of the respondents prefer to live in an independent home or a villa. Backing this preference, about 52.3 per cent of the survey participants displayed an inclination towards having larger home, their own garden or a backyard lawn along with a certain degree of privacy. Pertaining to these demands and providing consumers all they need, completely owned properties are witnessing a surge.

In a clustered city like Mumbai, larger homes has always been a privilege for well-to-do families. However, apart from this, having a villa just surpasses all the social status in the maximum city. Owning a villa has only been the ancestral property of the wealthy Mumbai families till date. However, with an ever-increasing need now for open spaces in our daily lives and the desire for an exclusive lifestyle, a luxurious gated community of villas stand as a preferable option for a majority of homebuyers. With the prevalent work-from-home culture and an extant need for a cleaner, healthier lifestyle, people are willing to venture a little off of the city center, away from all its hustle and bustle. A property in such a location with excellent connectivity offers the much-needed space to have villas with large decks/balconies, private gardens, providing fresh air and ventilation, simultaneously fulfilling the necessary hygiene and social distancing measures. Independent homes and villas in gated complexes bring together like-minded families, giving us the discretion to stay amidst a community, and thereby leading to a wholesome, comfortable living space.

A recent FICCI-ANAROCK report states that the demand for plotted developments is on a rise, since self-owned homes (villas or row houses) provide better social distancing. Markets like Hyderabad and Bengaluru have witnessed this extensive change with Hyderabad selling 100 premium units ranging between INR 5 crore to INR 12 crore including properties on the city outskirts between April and June 2020, whereas Bengaluru real estate market has been receiving demand for bigger homes and a renewed interest for villas in gated communities which are being considered as safer places to reside in at the moment. A further industry analysis shows that top-notch developers are turning into plotted developments, eventually opening up avenues for prospective homebuyers looking to associate with reputed grade A developers.

With the circumstances that we are in today, consumers are re-visiting their investment portfolio and re-looking at their investment strategies. With lowest ever home loan interest rates and a recent reduction in stamp duty, real estate is being considered a safest bet at present. Perfectly accomplishing what the situation demands, plotted developments offer multiple advantages from an investment standpoint as well. As per a recent ANAROCK report, plotted developments has potentially good returns on land investment, relative affordability as compared to built-up real estate, and the proposed infrastructure projects in city peripheries creates a strong rationale for investing in land. The survey also revealed that 79 per cent of the partakers voted for landed properties and independent homes as the best real estate investment option with 40.1 per cent of them inclining towards having an independent home on their own land.

With numerous benefits and provisions for changing consumer requisites, villa living is definitely the new way to go. A large independent home assuring utmost privacy and security, along with availability of open spaces and essential amenities in close proximity is a dream home that one aspires for. Further, with the favorable market scenario, this is the best time one can buy their dream home.

Shaishav Dharia

Business CEO – Townships and Annuity Assets, Lodha Group

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