CHENNAI: Swimming pools, gyms, parking lots, landscaped gardens, playgrounds, supermarkets and even in-complex schools and ATMs. If you want to sell a home to the latest generation of home buyers, you better have every single on of these and more. With the average age of home buyers plummeting, developers have realised that this generation of customers are no longer very worried about locales and proximity to the city. The current catchword for selling residential projects is ‘amenities’.
“We don’t mind buying a home on ECR-OMR. We have cabs from work to ferry us and who has time to go to the city?” asked Sumati, at the Fair Pro 2014, the property fair organised by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India, on Friday. “My spouse and I are looking for an apartment, which is located in a completely self-sufficient complex,” she said.
And Sumati’s sentiment is something a large percentage of their customers share, according to the city’s developers. Self sufficieny is a concept that’s catching up fast. Especially with the increase of out-of-city workers looking for homes to buy.
Governor K Rosaiah hit the nail on the head during his address at the inauguration by pointing out that rapid industrialisation has led to a large number of people migrating to the city.
“In an age where the lifestyle needs of the people has changed drastically, it becomes imperative for builders to plan their projects to suit those needs,” he said.
Something that developers seem to have achieved comprehensively. Of the 250 odd projects exhibited at the fair, almost 70 per cent come with every amenity. The rest, depending on the cost and number of units in the complex, offer varying degrees of self sufficiency, according to secretary of CREDAI-Chennai, Suresh Krishnan.
To cater to these priorities, some developers are even resorting to having amenities up and operational first. Even before beginning construction on the residential units. Ravi Kumar Indrakanti, Deputy General Manager of PBEL Property Development, says that this is precisely what they have done at their OMR project. “Customers buy homes more readily when shown that they can take advantage of all these amenities the minute they move in,” he says.
But all is not well and sundry with this current trend. According the convenor of the fair Sivagurunathan, while people want these amenities when they buy homes, they soon realise they require a constant cost for maintainance. “Developers take care of amenities in the first year. But when maintainance is handed over to associations, we have seen that they fail to maintain it properly,” he points out.
While cost-intensive amenities like swimming pools and supermarkets may lose sheen, gyms, landscaped gardens and open recreational spaces will remain, he says. They cost considerably less to maintain after all.