Luxury means different things to different people.
“Proximity to nature, interestingly, remains a constant — it’s the sea for some, hills, greenery or golf links for others,” says Tushad Dubash, director of Mumbai-based Duville Estates developers.
While seniors around the world tend to prefer standalone luxury residences with backyards, young couples and singles alike prioritise condos where maintenance is managed by someone else, and want smart home features such as home automation systems, remote lighting controls and wine rooms.
A report by Sotheby’s International Realty called ‘Global Affluence: The Emerging Luxury Consumer’ released last month talks about the changing luxury real-estate scenario in the world.
It highlights the confidence, spending habits and purchasing interests of emerging luxury consumers from around the world.
“We focused on luxury consumers in the US, UK, UAE, India and China,” says Ankit Tyagi, COO of Sotheby’s International Realty India. “We found that, in contrast to India, consumers in markets such as the US and UK focus on condos in skyscrapers with stunning views.”
Luxury real-estate is growing fast in India, Tyagi adds. He attributes it to the fact that the number of high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals has jumped by 330% over the past 10 years — against a 68% rise globally.
And it is not just HNIs or UHNIs that aspire and invest luxury in the country, says Reema Kundnani, vice president, head – Marketing, Corporate Communications & Luxury Residential Sales, Oberoi Realty.
“We are very aspirational and seek all the amenities at homes as our income increases. A lot of young Indians are investing in luxury properties across the country. Grand architecture, high-tech security and app-based operations are among what consumers look for in luxury homes.”
The luxury map
Borders are fading in interesting ways, when it comes to luxury real-estate. “Many luxury homebuyers are investing in properties outside their home country, because they travel frequently or have children studying in these locations,” says Tyagi of Sotheby’s.
Even when they buy at home, they’re looking for projects that offer them the sense of being a global citizen.
In the US, luxury means a front yard, a backyard, a driveway and an open kitchen since families like to cook together on weekends.
Indians are increasingly opting for European, Singaporean, Spanish and Mediterranean-themed luxury projects.
Indians continue to be more brand-conscious too. “In the US, luxury homes usually consist of a front yard, a backyard, a driveway and an open kitchen since families prefer to cook together on the weekends,” says Kundnani of Oberoi Realty. “In India, people like to have a developer who has hired an architect from the US, a contractor from Korea and a consultant from UAE.”
Some things haven’t changed. Location remains a key selling point. And old favourites continue to dominate.
In London, for instance, there is still no better address than Hyde Park. In California, true luxury can only mean Beverly Hills.
A decade from now, there may be new names on this list though. New Dubai is already a force to contend with on the global luxury real-estate rankings. And a report by Knight Frank released last month shows luxury real-estate prices soaring in China’s third-largest city, Guangzhou.