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Economy Sep 17, 2012

Bangalore luxury homes more attractive than Mumbai, Delhi

By Karun Varma

Bangalore's luxury residential market has seen a major transformation in the recent past, with the Kingfisher Tower setting a new capital values benchmark (northwards of Rs 30,000/sq.ft) in the super luxury category. The new dynamics have been referred to as the 'coming of age' of Bangalore's residential market, and I agree with this definition. We are certainly witnessing a remarkable maturing process here.

According to Jones Lang Lasalle data, residential property capital values in Bangalore have increased by 25% since the trough in mid-2009, not factoring in inflation. Currently, the absorption of residential spaces in the city is skewed towards the Rs 3000-7500/sq.ft. price band, but there is also significant momentum in the price band of Rs 7500/sq.ft and above. The upcoming supply in this category of homes is a clear indication of this trend. The short-term economic inhibitors currently at play across the country have definitely had their effect on buyers' sentiments, but Bangalore's residential market is still one of the most resilient from a long-haul perspective.

rom completely automated 'smart' homes to private pools and from extravagant landscaping to golf courses in the backyard, the differentiators are varied and unique.

One of the reasons for this resilience is that Bangalore's luxury/premium homes developers have a tendency to think on their feet. They have been reinventing their offerings constantly in terms of the amenities offered. From completely automated 'smart' homes to private pools and from extravagant landscaping to golf courses in the backyard, the differentiators are varied and unique.

CBD Charisma

While Bangalore's central business district (CBD) has traditionally been the location of choice for luxury homes, North Bangalore and Whitefield have emerged as strong alternative destinations for such projects.

Some of the luxury projects currently gracing Bangalore's CBD include:
• Prestige's Edwardian
• VanGogh's Garden by Total Environment
• Century's Renata
• Skyline's Villa Maria
• Brigade's Rhapsody and CrescentNitesh Estates' Logos

Approximately 130 units in these luxury residential projects, which are in different stages of construction and completion, are priced at Rs 5 crore and above. These alone account for a $100 million market just in Bangalore's traditional luxury homes catchment.

Northward Bound

Meanwhile, the Devanahalli and Hebbal sub-markets are showing an impressive scale of activity on the premium and luxury projects front. This is largely due to the on-going and planned infrastructure developments in these areas, with the establishment of Bangalore International Airport being one of the primary catalysts for the North Bangalore micro-market. Though nascent social infrastructure and non-availability of water are challenges, North Bangalore has enormous potential to develop into a prime residential property hub. We have already seen the arrival of premium projects such as Prestige Golfshire, Embassy Boulevard and Embassy Lake Terraces, which are scheduled or under construction in Devanhalli and Hebbal.

The established residential hub of Indiranagar has smaller projects by developers such as Marvel, comprising of 5-10 units priced at Rs 5 crore and above. Embassy and Divyasree have also put the old airport road on the luxury residential map by launching with their premium home offerings Embassy Grove and 770 East.

Altogether, Bangalore has approximately 1,100 super luxury home units price-tagged at Rs 5 crore in various stages of planning and construction. This translates into a market worth more than a billion dollars. Even considering this, the capital values on Bangalore's super luxury homes market are still more attractive than those of Mumbai or Delhi. Once the city's infrastructure development catches up with the current pace of real estate development, there will be no stopping Bangalore's residential market.

Chart view

by Karun Varma

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