The luxury segment in the Indian real estate sector is an ever-evolving one. Everything that money can buy is now being made available to buyers who want to live life king size. Sky villas are one of the latest developments on this front. The concept is not new, but borrowed from the more evolved western real estate markets. It has been around in the country for a few years now, and it has gained wide-spread acceptance in recent times+.
What is a sky villa?
Villas and penthouses have for long been marketed to HNI home buyers, but sky villas combine the benefits of both penthouses and villas – along with some additional unique features. Unlike a villa, which is basically a standalone bungalow or a penthouse which is just an apartment on the top-most floor of a high-rise, a sky villa is a humungous multi-level apartment which often covers 2-3 floors. It combines the luxuries of a sprawling bungalow with the advantages of secure living and integrated facilities in an apartment complex.
Though the focus in sky villas is on exclusivity and the individuality of the buyer, the services and amenities are shared by every member of the tower comprising sky villas – unlike a penthouse, where the luxury is limited to the residents of the penthouse.
Sky villas – exclusive luxury at a price
The amenities being offered by various developers who create sky villas involve private gardens, private plunge pools, sundecks, private elevators, home theatre lounges, mini gyms, master suites with walk-in closets, advanced electronic surveillance, concierge on call, etc.
The target clientele for sky villas is High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs). Since it is a relatively new and growing sector, there are no benchmark prices. Suffice it to say that sky villas cost upwards of Rs. 5 crore; in major metros like Mumbai and Delhi-NCR, they can command prices starting from Rs. 40 crore.
The place of Sky villas in India’s luxury homes market
The luxury home segment in most developed markets accounts for 7-8 per cent of the total real estate, while in India its contribution is currently a mere 2 per cent. However, it has been growing in double digits over the past couple of years, thanks to the rise in High Net-worth Individuals. Indian HNIs are slated to cross a headcount of 3.5 lakh by 2018-19 owing to growth in economy and an astonishing rise in income levels.
With more and more Indians getting global exposure to avant-garde lifestyles, the demand for options which replicate such living experiences in India is mounting. In the more evolved and mature western markets, the concept of sky villas is already quite popular – in Las Vegas, USA, there are sky villas which compete to be part of the top 10 most expensive homes in the world. With the same kind of luxury coming to Indian consumers, this niche luxury segment is attracting increasing investments from builders who have charted the course for its future demand.
It is by no means an easy category to develop, as it demands the right locations and right neighbours apart from world-class luxuries. Inevitably, they also need to tie up with international designer brands to add the final layer of exclusivity to their sky villa projects. However, builders who create such dwellings don’t have to work too hard to find buyers among the country’s ultra-rich.