‘Luxury home demand trend is broad-based’

The year 2023 is set to see record sales of luxury homes, as buyers are digging deep into their pockets to buy fully-loaded homes, the trend being seen across all well-heeled income brackets. It’s not merely the much publicised tech CXOs, the unicorn billionaires or the rarefied breed of top dollar earners; the demand for luxury is coming from all segments.

“I am seeing the buying of luxury homes is much more broad-based,” Cyrus Mody, Founder and Managing Partner of Viceroy Properties, told businessline.

Viceroy Properties, which has positioned itself as a luxury residences builder, launched its first project just prior to the pandemic and has reaped the benefits of the unprecedented demand for luxury homes over the last year or so.

Mody says the demand has received a further fillip with the positivity in the economy, the wealth created in the equity markets and that is translating into higher spending power.

Here are edited excerpts of the interview with Mody.

How do you assess the demand for housing in India in 2023 from the point of view of the luxury segment?

It has been a great year. India’s growth has been tearaway economically and a lot of that has been translated into the real estate sector, especially the luxury segment. A lot of the luxury inventory is being absorbed faster than the developers can build.

When you launched your project, were you able to foresee the kind of demand that would come in?

In hindsight, we can say that we were lucky to have launched our project before Covid. Initially, we thought the demand would drop away, but very early on we realised that flat purchasers had started understanding the value of their homes. They started enjoying the homes they lived in. People started introspecting into their lives and what they wanted out of it, not just work. They wanted a better product and lifestyle, and that translated into huge demand.

During the lockdowns and once some of the restrictions were removed, we saw the demand for larger format, better-built homes. What has happened over the last four-five months is that demand has been supplemented by positive economic sentiments, translating into higher spending power. So that is a powerful compounding effect for luxury real estate.

Where is all this demand coming from? Is it the CXOs, the unicorn billionaires? And is the wealth created in the stock markets being channelled into real estate?

I am seeing the buying of luxury homes as much more broad-based, across the spectrum of demand rather than only the super luxury ₹30 crore-plus flats. No doubt there is a good amount of that sort of inventory also being sold, but that is a shallow segment of the market. In the ₹5-15 crore range, the demand has picked up massively.

As to the stock markets, for any developing nation that goes through that cycle, one of the first sectors to really benefit is the real estate. You will want a good amount of your wealth to be from the stock markets, but you can’t live in the stock markets – you live in the home that you purchase.

What are the new trends that you are seeing in the sector?

Upgrade buyers, that’s definitely a trend – people who want to upgrade to newer, better homes. With respect to design, the industry is moving to clean aesthetics, for a more cosmopolitan look. Another major trend is that buyers are looking for homes that fit their lifestyle requirements. They don’t want to be told by the developer to join the lifestyle on offer.

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