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Chennai’s emergence as a luxury homes market: JLL

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The following is the report by Sanjay Chugh, Head – Residential Services (Chennai) JLL India

Chennai, traditionally a stable and even predictable real estate market amongst metropolitan cities in India, has nevertheless seen many new trends emerge over the last decade. Apart from the advent of integrated townships, the once niche segment of luxury homes in the city has today emerged as an important asset class. Today, there is no dearth of buyers for the right kinds of luxury residential offerings in Chennai.

The luxury ethos

Luxury is all about feeling special and set a cut above the masses. This feeling must therefore be translated into luxury homes. In India today, luxury homes include palatial villas and sprawling penthouses outfitted in Italian marble, Spanish furniture and private swimming pools, in buildings and projects designed to reflect contemporary architectural styles and with all the other accouterments of a luxurious lifestyle – spas, gymnasiums, golf courses and all the rest.

In unison, the locations themselves must reflect luxury, so we are basically talking about creating a rarefied world of opulence in the prime core areas of the city. This definition of luxury homes holds true for Chennai, which is a city steeped in traditional values yet constantly aspiring for a cosmopolitan ethos.

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Does Chennai want luxury?

The people of Chennai are conservative at heart, yet highly educated and able to evolve with the times. Luxury definitely has pertinence in a city wherein the skyline has rapidly changed from low-rise bungalows and apartments to multistoried high-rise apartment buildings. Many families are converting and developing their properties that have an independent bungalow on a sizeable land parcel into contemporary luxury apartments with state-of-the-art facilities and amenities. Areas like Boat Club, Poes Garden, Nungambakkam, Alwarpet, Raja Annamalaipuram and Kotturpuram are among the most preferred localities among the home buyers in this segment. However, localities like Anna Nagar, Egmore and Kilpauk are also finding favor from home buyers of this asset class.

Affordable luxury – gaining ground

Like every other metropolitan city, Chennai has prime areas that the most affluent choose to call home. The most prominent are Boat Club Road, which commands residential property prices in excess of Rs. 35,000/- per sq ft and Poes Garden, where luxury homes cost in the region of Rs.33,000/- to 35,000/- sq ft. However, Chennai is also seeing the emergence of new luxury precinct – Nungambakkam, Adyar, Alwarpet, Raja Annamalaipuram, Kotturpuram, Egmore, and Anna Nagar.

In fact, these localities are witnessing the highest growth because they address the city’s newfound need for affordable luxury. Also, in their quest to address this burgeoning demand, Chennai’s builders are on a spree to acquire defunct factories and mills in the northern and southern parts of the city, with a view to raze them to make way for premium properties. This supply aims to catch the upward curve when the luxury homes market revives in earnest.

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USPs for luxury homes in Chennai

· Location: For ultra-luxury, the address matters. Central location, convenient access to the city’s nerve points, high snob value. An important criterion for resale value, too.
· View: Breath-taking – not overlooking a slum, busy road or hospital. Like location, critical consideration for resale value
· Facilities: Top-of-the-line – clubhouse, gymnasium, spa, swimming pool, landscaped garden, ample car parking, high ceiling, large windows, grand visitor’s lobby
· Safety: No compromise – world-class electronic security throughout, with the best security agency at the console and gate and home automation.

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