For a better part of two years, the Covid-triggered pandemic locked us up in our homes. Offices that had become second homes were also forsaken. Today, there’s a newfound love for our nests, and a compelling need to feather it with the best.
As the world plods along, contemplating a future that is still tinged with a sense of doom and gloom, people are still happiest in their caves. But now they want these caves to be comfortably sprawling, creatively designed and ultra-cool. Even in the no-nonsense Maximum City, there is a growing desire for ultra-luxury apartments.
Once niche and for the super-rich
Reel back by a decade and two. The luxury housing market in 2010 was niche and primarily for the super-rich. Even for HNIs and NRIs back then, an address was more important than the amenities. Luxury apartments in Mumbai then, were more for investment purposes. Over the next three-four years, the market for Mumbai’s luxury apartments expanded, with developers targeting young, upwardly mobile professionals, corporate honchos eager to enhance their public image and businessmen keen to celebrate financial windfalls. But luxury housing continued to be limited to buzzing metros like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru.
The RERA bill in 2016 changed the real estate scene dramatically, regularising and consolidating the sector, and building up investor confidence in luxury housing. This also meant an upping of demands and expectations, with home buyers scrutinising everything, from location and demographics to culture, before putting their signature on the dotted line.
They were happy to rent out prime properties instead of making outright sales. They even compromised on size since work kept them out of their homes for most of the day and even the week. And many ultra-luxury apartments in Mumbai stayed empty.
Not anymore. Buyers now want luxury homes with top-of-the-line amenities: private decks, state-of-art gyms, swimming pools and clubhouses, essentially everything that promotes resort-like living. UHNIs look at homes as high-end offices, the means to enjoy a resort-like living experience and have a healthy lifestyle. Airy rooms, amphitheatres, swimming pools, multi-functional utilities, and spaces for family bonding fulfil the key aspects of dream luxury residences.
Unsurprisingly, Mumbai’s luxury housing market witnessed an uptick in recent times. Citing data shared by Zapkey.com, market analysts have pointed to the way the luxury properties market witnessed a spurt in 2021. The year saw around 25 property deals priced over Rs 50 crore and worth Rs 2,936 crore. And despite restricted registrations owing to the lockdown in 2020, as many as 21 deals worth Rs 1,235 crore were registered in Mumbai that year. In 2019, 14 luxury deals worth Rs 886 crore were registered without the stamp duty waiver. Knight Frank’s recent report states that with many MNCs and foreign players coming to India following the country’s growing stature as an economic power, the momentum will continue. The correction in sales prices offers a further boost to Mumbai’s luxury apartments.
Changing definition of luxury homes
The look is equally important. Art deco architecture, landscaped gardens, Buddhist style pagodas, and even expensive art have crept into the growing list of purchasers looking to buy luxury apartments in Mumbai.
It’s fascinating how art can also lure buyers into putting a deposit on a luxury apartment in Mumbai. Pictures on the wall, sculptures in a corner and furniture that is an artwork have changed the oft-quoted mantra ‘Home is where the heart is,’ to ‘Home is where the art is,’ when it comes to Mumbai’s luxury apartments.
Not too long ago, it was widely held that in Mumbai functionality invariably trumped art. That seems to be changing in the realty sector. Nowadays, luxury home buyers find a parallel between the world of art and high-end real estate. Be it in lobbies, passages or the entrance of a building, there’s a noticeable trend in having art in some capacity within high-end properties. Luxury homeowners desire sufficient elbow room to preserve a diverse collection of art and antiques.
Truly, luxury apartments have a different artistic allure these days. They are much like artists’ studios that become magnets for visitors. Everything from cut-glass consoles to lacquered cocktail tables to paintings communicates a message. Not only are paintings the very theme of these apartments, but they also reflect their vibrancy and energy levels.
Today, having luxury homes is about acquiring experiences through the medium of art. And art has the power to transport us into a different world. Meanwhile, some reputed realty groups are standing at the intersection of real estate and art. Raiaskaran Tech Park (RTP), for instance, sees structures through the prism of art. Upholding the vision of Mr Shobhit J Rajan, Founder, Raiaskaran, the Raiaskaran Art Gallery, showcases the work of more than 50 globally acclaimed artists.
Focus on artistic homes
Regular globe travellers and luxury goods buyers will pay a premium for design, art, architecture, and lifestyle. They are insistent that their home must be distinctively different and not boringly typical.
So, developers of ultra-luxury apartments in Mumbai are going all out to recreate the ambience of old-world palaces for these kings of the modern world through the positioning of art, promoting architecture and bringing the healing powers of nature into the home with homegrown plants and even mini conservatories.
It is boom time for ultra-luxury apartments in Mumbai. But no showrooms of granite and steel, sharp edges, and contemporary chic. The focus now is on artistic homes that are soft on the eye, warm the heart, and appeal to our aesthetic tastes.