Track2Realty Survey:The developers have thus far failed to cater to the retired NRIs who wish to settle back to India.
The Indian real estate developers are going over-board in capturing the fantasy of the rich Indians who are also expat professionals. But they seem to have gone completely off target when understanding the long-term housing needs of these Non Resident Indians (NRIs).
As a result, a very promising segment of housing that a vast majority of the Indians are looking for back home has not been addressed yet. However, no less than 88 per cent of the NRIs are ready to invest into senior housing.
Mind it! Senior housing that the expat Indians are looking for post-retirement stay is not just the apartment with a healthcare and assisted living. No less than 72 per cent of the NRIs want a lifestyle driven senior living housing solution in India.
With many of these retirement planning NRIs aware of the reality of children working & staying abroad or in other cities, 94 per cent of the NRIs looking for senior housing would not mind paying a high premium for that.
“I have worked hard throughout my career. Once I decide to settle down in retired life back home the idea would be to enjoy more as time would not be a constrained. With reasonable savings for post retirement, I would not like to live an isolated life. I feel the developers need to understand that the world has changed for seniors who have decent money. Senior housing for me is just for old-age social security and medical purpose that does not compromise with luxury & lifestyle,” says Akshat Jakhar, an NRI from Ahmedabad.
The survey also tried to figure out as to why the existing and many upcoming senior housing projects could not attract the NRIs. Nearly three-fourth of the NRIs, as many as 72 per cent, feel the problem lies in gneralisation of the project.
There is a general sense of feeling among the NRIs that the Indian developers have failed to create a project that is customized for affluent seniors. Most of the senior housing projects are a mix for all kinds of senior citizens.
Location, of course, has been one of the deterrents for the NRIs to invest in the senior housing back home. 64 per cent feel the developers make a mistake of assuming that senior housing should be low-cost housing and hence far off location. Nearly as many, 60 per cent feel if the location is not well connected with the city then the developer alone would not be in a position to create all the lifestyle options in the vicinity.
“I went to see a senior housing in Hyderabad on my last visit to India. Frankly speaking, it gave me the ambience of an old-age home with modern amenities. If ever I wish to invite friends over there they would not be able to commute. Similarly, for me going to movies or other social events would not be possible. I can not think of living in a secure golden cage,” Prakash N Karnik, an NRI from Muscat points out.
This also raises a fundamental question about the future plans of the NRIs who are getting their children educated in foreign shores with planning of them getting settled over there. But contrary to the general perception of them staying overseas with the children, no less than nearly two-third, 62 per cent, are clear that they would like to settle back home post the retirement.
The NRIs who wish to settle back in India and are on the lookout for a lifestyle driven senior housing have their own reasons. 38 per cent of them carry a feeling of being in the hometown in old age; 36 per cent maintain quality of life over there is poor despite of affluence; while 26 per cent have their own family reasons.
Interestingly, a substantial section of these NRIs are even ok with a serviced senior housing that works on the leased rental model for lifetime. 46 per cent of the NRIs feel if the developer is offering a serviced apartment and charging a high premium as leased rent, as against buying the apartment, it makes better business model for either side.
Dire need of senior housing
Quest for senior housing—88% Yes, 12% Depends
Aspiration with senior housing—72% Lifestyle Choices, 20% Top class healthcare, 08% Depends
Ready to pay high premium—94% Yes, 06% Affordable maintenance needed
Pain points—72% No project for affluent seniors, 18% Poor maintenance, 10% Not sure
Location concerns—64% Far off location a deterrent, 22% Connectivity with essential services, 14% Not sure
Disadvantage of distant location—60% Lifestyle options, 20% Medicare facilities, 20% Visiting relatives not possible
Settling back in India? 62% Yes, 28% Depends, 10% No
Why settling in India? 38% Quest for hometown in old age, 36% Better quality of life, 26% Family reasons
What can elevate senior housing? 46% Serviced apartment with leased rental model