Builders redesign homes to attract buyers

Even as overall home sales remain weak, many developers have redesigned their projects to include smaller units, seeking to tap relatively stronger demand in the mid-size and budget segment.

Some of the redesigned projects include Supertech Aadri in Gurgaon and Golf Country on Yamuna Expressway in Noida; Mumbai-based Mathan Group’s Manthan Embassy in Bandra; Sare Group’s project in Gurgaon and Purvanakara Group’s project in JP Nagar, Bengaluru. Growing demand for smaller flats is the primary reason for the redesign.

“To face this market we are redesigning our projects. People are looking at smaller and budget units,” Supertech Ltd chairman R.K. Arora said. The company has redesigned houses at Rs.50-60 lakh andRs.25-30 lakh, he said. The earlier prices were in the Rs.60-90 lakh range.

“It is no longer a investors’ market. End-users are not finding the property affordable. By reducing the sizes, builders are trying to make it affordable to the consumer,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director at Liases Foras, a real estate advisory. The affordable segment accounted for 53% of launches in the top nine cities of India in the first quarter of 2016 and barring Gurgaon and Bengaluru, around 50% of demand was for properties in the affordable segment, according to an online portal.

A report by property consultant Knight Frank said developers had reduced unit configurations by as much as 19% in some markets to make houses more affordable.

SARE Homes Project Services Pvt. Ltd is another company that has resized its apartments in order to attract buyers. “Earlier, we had sold 2,200 sq. ft, three-bedroom units at a cost of around Rs.1.4 crore, while last year we launched Sports ParC, a new phase at our SARE Crescent ParC, Gurgaon township, with a smaller area of 1,295 sq. ft costing aroundRs.77 lakh,” said Vineet Relia, managing director, SARE Homes. Even luxury home developers have redesigned their inventory by including more 2 BHK (bedroom, hall, kitchen) and 3 BHK units in their projects. Ambience Group, a luxury real estate developer, whose portfolio includes Ambience Mall in Gurgaon, redesigned four towers in its Creacions, Sector 22, Gurgaon project to include smaller 2 BHK and 3 BHK apartments.

“That is what the pulse of the market was. People were looking at smaller units as well,” said Aman Singh Gehlot, director, Ambience Group. While a luxury 4 BHK apartment in Creacions would cost Rs.4.5 crore, a 2 BHK unit would be less expensive at Rs.1.86 crore. In order to keep the brand intact, Ambience has kept the specifications and finishing the same as at the other apartments.

2 BHK did initiate a lot of interest, there were lot of inquiries and we were able to convert quite a few apartments,” Gehlot. The company has been able to sell about 30% of those apartments, whose construction has just started, he said. “Right now, a lot developers are trying to make sure even if their margins may be reduced, at least they are able to make some profits,” said Sahil Kapoor, executive director, RE/MAX India, an online real estate services provider.

Developers have accelerated construction. The average delivery of projects as a percentage of under-construction stock rose sixfold in the first quarter of 2016, compared with the irst quarter of 2014, according to portal’s report. The trend has also been visible in the Mumbai and Bengaluru markets, which have fared well, compared with the National Capital Region market.

Manthan Group has redesigned its residential project, Manthan Embassy, located at Bandra. Two years ago, it was planning to build the project with 4 BHK apartments sized around 2,185 sq. ft in each floor. However, the project could not take off pending approvals. It relaunched the project two months ago with a revised plan of the building which includes 1 BHK and 2 BHK apartments.

“Earlier we were planning for 4 BHK (one flat) per floor. Now we have redesigned our plans and changed it to 1 BHK and 2 BHK per floor. We have submitted our revised plan and will build accordingly,” said Mihir Oza, who runs real estate agency Aditya Realtors that has the sole marketing right to sell flats at Manthan Embassy. Oza has been closely involved in redesigning of the project. Puravankara projects has redesigned its project, Purva Coronation in JP Nagar in Bengaluru. According to a person aware of the development, it has reduced the size of the apartments in the project from 8,500 sq. ft to 6,800 sq. ft per flat.

“To further make it feasible for home buyers in the affordable segment, developers have started to appropriate apartment sizes to suit the consumer’s demand and pocket size. This trend has gained popularity and acceptance among the consumers,” said Manoj Gaur, president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India NCR.

Credits Live Mint

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