Bengaluru: Even in a slow real estate market scenario, when sales have been tepid and property prices in correction mode, top developers seem to have sold their premium and luxury projects in a better ration than the others in the last financial year. Wealthy home buyers paid a premium for homes that were sold by large, branded realty firms, for the location and detailing of the project and faith that they will be delivered on schedule. While affordable projects sold well in property markets such as Bengaluru and Pune, Mumbai saw home buyers willing to pay the price for quality project and developers.
Property analysts said that buyers today are looking beyond price and location, considered to play key roles in buying decisions.
“Buyers look at specification and detailing of the project, reputation of the developer and want to buy into projects that are closer to completion,” said Ashutosh Limaye, head of research at property advisory JLL India.
Mint takes a look at some of the best performing projects last year:
Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd
It sold about 60% of its inventory in its newly-launched ‘Vivante’ project in Mumbai’s Andheri area. The project, which was launched in January, has already sold off all the 700 sq.ft one-bedroom apartments, priced at Rs.1.45 crore each. The developer’s first project launch in Bengaluru, Windchimes off Banerghatta Road, also sold 60% of its 200 units since its launch in June despite the premium pricing range of Rs.1.4-2.8 crore.
“Despite premium pricing for both the projects, what seems to have worked is the research behind designing the right product and confidence in the brand,” said managing director and chief executive Anita Arjundas.
Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd
The developer’s ultra-luxury project ‘Blu’ in south Mumbai was its best-performing project last year despite the overall slowdown in the luxury segment across the country. The project sells at a premium to most projects in the vicinity, with Rs.20-25 crore an apartment a floor, in one tower, and Rs.10-15 crore an apartment in the second tower. It has sold about 65% of the stock.
“It’s a unique project, being spread across 10 acres and built on a low FSI (floor space index, the ratio of the building floor area to the size of the land) of 1.33 which gives a sense of expanse. Wealthy individuals, who want to live themselves and not just for investment, have bought homes in this,” said Gagan Banga, vice-chairman and managing director, Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd.
Embassy Group in Bengaluru, which has a sizeable portfolio of residential projects, saw strong sales in its luxury villa project ‘Boulevard’ in Yelahanka. Launched in 2014, it has 43 of the 169 villas, priced at Rs.6.5-14 crore, left to be sold.
Jitu Virwani, chairman, Embassy Group said that the project is nearing completion, and buyers of luxury homes seem to prefer buying in projects that are more mature in terms of development, and that’s what worked towards the sales in the Boulevard project last year.
Kolte Patil Developers Ltd
The Pune-based developer sold maximum homes in its project ‘Corolla’ in Wagholi where one-bedroom apartments are priced at about Rs.30 lakh each. Launched last May, it has sold about 4.2 lakh sq.ft. its second project, Western Avenue at Wakad, is a 17-acre sprawl where a two-bedroom project costs Rs.77 lakh.
“The reasons behind the sales momentum in Corolla would be the pricing and the easy payment scheme. The Wakad project, on the other hand, has all the possible modern amenities and that’s what buyers liked,” said Gopal Sarda, chief executive-Mumbai, Kolte Patil.
India’s largest developer in terms of residential sales, which crossed Rs.8,000 crore in 2015-16 in terms of gross sales, saw its new project ‘Amara’ in suburban Thane contribute about 30% to its sales, followed by sales in its township Palava, near Mumbai.
“The product, brand and price are the three things that played important roles in generating this kind of sales. We have also been able to significantly improve the net to gross ratio without sustained consumer-centric approach,” said Prashant Bindal, chief sales officer, Lodha Group.
The Bengaluru developer’s new sales of 3.38 million sq.ft, valued at Rs.2,012 crore in 2015-16, was driven by its first affordable housing project under the Dream Acres brand in the city and the launch of its plotted development project ‘Sobha Retreat’ in Mysore.
“We believe that the company’s focus on mid-income housing going forward backed by rapid execution owing to investment in technology will be a major driver for its operating performance,” said Adhidev Chattopadhyay, analyst, Elara Securities Ltd.
The ‘Camellias’ project in Gurgaon continued to the biggest sales churner for the developer even when the National Capital Region (NCR) continued to be slow in terms of sale and project launches. DLF, which didn’t launch any new project in 2015-16, has sold about 1.39 million sq.ft in Camellias till the December quarter, its best performing project among its new projects.
“Undoubtedly, Camellias was a standout. Sales were better than 2014-15 and customers are again coming back,” said DLF’s chief executive Rajeev Talwar.
Godrej Properties Ltd
The Mumbai-based developer sold 348 apartments in its flagship project ‘The Trees’ in suburban Vikhroli for Rs.862 crore within a month of the launch in November. Godrej sold at an average of Rs.19,000 per sq.ft, managing to achieve premium pricing even in a highly competitive scenario. Last May, it sold 200 apartments in about three weeks after the launch of Godrej Icon, a residential project in Gurgaon, a market where some of India’s biggest developers are struggling.
Credits Live Mint