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Till a few years ago, living in an apartment in Delhi was probably not as much in demand as it is today. With the rise in options for the consumer from all strata of the society and the need of a modern lifestyle, looks like the trend of condo and apartment living is here to stay


Gone are the days when having a home in Delhi meant having a bungalow or a kothi, if you may. With changing times and an increase in population and rising land prices, the trend of living in condominiums and apartments is no more considered a down scale option. As Sunil Bedi, CMD, JMD Group explains, "For Delhites an apartment or flat, as one would commonly call it, has always carried a down-market stigma. And we really cannot be blamed for it, with most of them being made by local builders or government bodies, a high quality could never be expected from them." He says that the true quality and standard of living enjoyed by an apartment owner has only become evident in past few years since commercial developers have entered the scenario.


The reason for the rise of this trend in a city like Delhi, where living in apartments used to be looked down upon, has been for many reasons. Pranav Ansal, Vice Chairman and MD, Ansal API avers, "In Delhi, the apartment/condominium living was necessitated by the lack of supply of plotted developments and/or the affordability of independent plots because of very high land costs. The concept of apartment living was introduced to make better use of land and accommodate more people. Initially, the apartment complexes were designed with basic facilities only. However, over a period of time, people realised the advantages of apartment living and developers started making value adds in the form of facilities and amenities that became the USPs for attracting more clientele." Ansal says that the concept of condo apartment living is here to stay as it goes well with the modern lifestyle where people give a higher priority to convenience over space.


"We have to first understand the price tag that comes with the condos. As far as living in apartments is concerned, it caters to every budget and hence, people from all strata can afford it. And thus, people prefer to live in apartments because of the host of facilities they come with," says Vijay Jindal, CMD of SVP Group. Being a developer, Jindal points out that they are trying to cater to all the segments and are trying to provide small apartments too with world class facilities.


Navin M Raheja, MD, Raheja Developers adds, "Our lifestyles are not the same anymore, especially in urban areas like Delhi and NCR. The changing dynamics of social life in the modern era has prompted the concept of condominiums in India. A crèche for their children, power backup and other facilities are a necessity today." Raheja tells that people are also desirous of living in good quality construction replete with modular kitchens, good indoors, Jacuzzis, sensor operated bath fittings, shower cubicles and shower panels - these are facilities which people now take for granted, rather than an exception. Plus, the need to maintain a home and its surroundings do not worry those who live in apartments and condos. But, it isn't just the design and modern facilities that pushed this trend forward. The fact is that there are many young professionals today who prefer the suburban living trend. People are moving to organised, suburban developments where their money is able to buy much more and have every urban convenience with a greater lifestyle. Raminder Grover, CEO, Home bay Residential (a subsidiary of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj) explains, "The growth across sectors has led to a demographic shift towards a younger, more cosmopolitan and affluent population driving the demand for newly constructed residential apartments and condominiums."


The reasons for people preferring to live in apartments and condos start with the fact that many of the families are nuclear families with double incomes coming their way. The connectivity and proximity to main cities and infrastructural support is a big factor that has led to the rise of this trend, along with easy accessibility of home loans. Grover points out that security and safety concerns with a preference for a better and modern lifestyle are also part of the reasons for the shift in the trend. But as we are well aware, condominiums today are not plain old apartments; they are penthouses and apartments built on entire floors, which give residents the luxury and feel of living in their own space.


Condo living is definitely not limited to middle and upper-middle class anymore. The sector has seen an increased demand off-late from the high net worth individuals segment and a major thrust from NRIs and expatriates. Sachin Sandhir, MD and Country Head, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors mentions, "Luxury condos, did in a large way contribute towards this mindset shift towards apartments for comfortable urban living."


With so many advantages and amenities that the condo and apartment living provide, it can only be said that the trend is here to stay, be it in the affordable range or the luxury range. It looks like the only way forward for sensible urban planning in Delhi and NCR is its vertical growth.


Courtesy:- ET dt:- 15-05-09