Track2Realty Exclusive: Noida real estate market seems to be marching ahead of the ‘built to suffice’ format and the discerning buyers in this part of the world are increasingly leading the developers to customise the projects and even the individual apartments as per their needs and fancy. What has been the prerogative of only the handful of the buyers in the luxury segment is today a reality across the residential segments of Noida market.
The first wave of aspiration in this market is redefining the concept of housing which has thus far been only about affordable living. The developers are also increasingly realising this change of taste & investment pattern and are proactively responding to the demands of the buyers.
Amidst the over use and abuse of the term ‘buyer friendly’, Noida property market is actually turning out to be one such case study due to increasing competition and migration of a large educated expats from across the country. They are the buyers who are well travelled and have been exposed to the customised living in other parts of the country and even abroad.
The developers are also exposed to the fact that there is enough appetite and attraction of investors in this location and the serious buyers are looking towards this market for long term better appreciation, since the other glorified markets like Gurgaon are reaching to a saturation point.
Analysts tracking the Noida market believe the credit must to go those dare devil first movers in the luxury segment who have raised the bar of expectations to a level where the aspiration for perfection is percolating down the value chain as well. This trickle-down effect is visible across the real estate segment and today Noida is witness to such demand for customisation in quality commercial space, both retail and office, as well.
This is a perfect combination of a market scaling up to a corporate city where the working class has the disposable income to spend and has quest for quality living and lifestyle. Obviously, they are today dictating the terms for customisation to suit their needs and expectations.
Navneet Gaur, Director, Brys Group believes raising the bar of expectations is both a challenge and a privilege. According to her, an informed buyer is always an asset and not a liability. If the developer is responsive to the buyers’ aspirations, it helps in lateral thinking and that leads to a better builder and buyer connect. The problem is when the developer is not responsive but reluctant. Noida, of late, has seen the paradigm shift of mindset where there is increasing focus on the consumer connect to address their causes and concerns.
“See, the challenge in Noida market for us has not only been to foray into a super luxury and go for the tallest tower of Delhi-NCR but the real challenge was how to position ourselves differently in a market which was traditionally seen low key in terms of projects’ value and consumers’ expectations. The moment we launched a big ticket project it obviously raised the bar of expectations and we were ready to respond to the buyers’ wishes for customisation. Of course, there is a cost attached to the customisation but with my experience I can vouchsafe that if you are open to listening to the customers’ needs, you can create a win-win situation for both,” says Gaur.
Nikhil Hawelia, Managing Director of Hawelia Group agrees that the trend of customisation has its genesis from the luxury housing project of Noida. He, however, maintains that the average home buyer nowadays has a lifestyle choice and luxury aspiration in any given segment of housing. And hence, the developers have no choice but to respond to the wishes of the buyers if they want to position themselves as a committed long term player.
“Even in a location like Noida Extension which has its genesis as an affordable destination we are increasingly getting the demands for customisation. To the extent that can be implemented without tinkering with the basic design and architecture element of the project, there is nothing wrong in listening to the customers. In my opinion, this flexibility on part of the developers has been one of the reasons why Noida market has done reasonably better than other peer markets during the slowdown,” says Nikhil.
Gaurav Gupta, Director of SG Estates also maintains that builder-buyer direct interface is the only way a developer can position as a responsible developer in the micro market. According to him, more than advertising spend and more than beating one’s own trumpets, the need of the hour today is to engage the customers directly and listen to them, address those concerns and customise the apartment as per their needs.
“This consumer connect is needed at all the times, but is all the more important during the slowdown and from my own experience I can vouchsafe that it has helped a lot of developers to keep the sales channel moving during the worst phase of slowdown,” says Gupta.
Some property experts opine that for quite some time in the secondary market the apartments purchased were being customised both for civil works & interiors before being occupied. It is just that the process has started in the primary market of Noida. There are developers who have been successfully defining the concept of ‘live, work & play’ as per the buyers’ choice and taste. After all, Noida is the market which is new to the innovations and customisation in housing while many other markets have already gone through this learning curve with trial and error method.
Does it mean Noida market will see more customisation and innovations in residential segment? Analysts are of the view that the luxury living is a new concept in this market and the tone will set by the luxury apartments only. In this segment the developers have to customise the apartments as per the individual taste of the buyers as well as maintain its holistic nature.
For the mid-segment housing, this may sound like a gigantic challenge but if the developers continue to do it, a separate segment will be created where there will be no dearth of buyers also. More importantly, this will help Noida market position itself as a unique market not only in the Delhi-NCR but across the nation. The initial indications are no doubt positive; luxury developers have set the tone and the rest are following as of now.