Home preferences seeing an inclination towards gated communities
As we progressively adapt to the ‘new normal’, the changing preferences of homebuyers have significantly affected purchase and investment decisions. Homebuyers are prioritising safety and security as an imperative element alongside essential services. Fulfilling these demands, a shift is seen towards gated communities during the pandemic with a growing demand for green spaces.
In an atmosphere where a high standard of services, leisure, recreation, green living and occupant safety would shape the future of real estate, growth possibilities are immense for developers of gated communities. Both developers and homebuyers agree that environment-friendly and sustainable homes with large green spaces are the critical components for new-age construction.
As we progressively adapt to the ‘new normal’, the changing preferences of homebuyers have significantly affected purchase and investment decisions. Homebuyers are prioritising safety and security as an imperative element alongside essential services. Fulfilling these demands, a shift is seen towards gated communities during the pandemic with a growing demand for green spaces. In an atmosphere where a high standard of services, leisure, recreation, green living and occupant safety would shape the future of real estate, growth possibilities are immense for developers of gated communities. Both developers and homebuyers agree that environment-friendly and sustainable homes with large green spaces are the critical components for new-age construction. What buyers want “Buyer decision-making is no longer dominated by just location and ticket size; instead, homebuyers are also weighing community living, neighbourhood, social infrastructure and resource-conscious features and amenities,” observes Dr Sunita Purushottam, Head-Sustainability, Mahindra Lifespace Developers. “Many homebuyers are gravitating towards well-connected peripheral destinations that offer abundant space and healthier living in relatively unpolluted environs.” “Many homebuyers are getting inclined towards gated communities that provide all essential services within the vicinity while instilling the feeling of a close-knit community,” believes Gaurav Pandey, CEO - North, Godrej Properties. “Such homes are enclosed within precincts that are well-maintained and guarded. One has easy access to world-class amenities such as clubhouses, pools, game courts, theatres, retail outlets and recreational zones that cater to all walks of life.” In these times, there has been a visible shift in demand for gated community living as the importance of fostering communities as opposed to independent living has been apparent during the lockdown. “Gated developments have contributed to giving residents a sense of belonging and community living,” says an L&T Realty spokesperson. “They are not just a place to live but a sanctuary where one can have a well-rounded lifestyle. Most developments incorporate leisure amenities like gardens, swimming pool, gymnasium, multiple sports facilities, kids’ play area, etc, so residents can enjoy these conveniences where they live and don’t need to step outside to fulfil the requirements of their modern lifestyle.” The amenities Brimming with sprawling green spaces and fresh, open air, gated communities are a perfect choice for those who seek to live an eco-friendly way of life. “Equipped with cutting-edge technology, such projects are designed sustainably to promote greenery and water conservation,” says Pandey. “Safety, security, green environment and convenient lifestyle make gated communities an excellent choice for upgrading one’s lifestyle and liveability quotient.” Godrej Properties’ projects, Godrej Woods at Sector 43, Noida, and Godrej Nature Plus at Sector 33, Sohna, Gurugram, offer luxurious homes with green views. These gated communities have a mix of nature and city life with open lush green spaces and lavish clubhouses within the development. The foremost advantage of a gated community is the sense of safety and security it gives residents: 24/7 security, monitored entry and exits and CCTV cameras that ensure the people residing inside are protected from unauthorised intruders from outside. Gated developments include green landscaped areas and lush garden spaces in their design, providing a ‘close to nature’ feel to residents. L&T Realty’s recently launched Veridian at Emerald Isle in Powai, Mumbai, provides 10 acre of open space and 3 acre of lush landscape with quiet nooks for residents to experience nature, along with a host of delightful luxuries to destress and rejuvenate. Design principles At the supply end, rising consumer awareness of global trends and the demonstrated user benefits of environment-friendly homes are driving the adoption of climate-responsive design principles. “Post-pandemic, apartments are being designed with a view to factor in more efficient and flexible space utilisation; repurposing of spaces; internal and external noise impacts; and outdoor amenities that support intergenerational activities and an active lifestyle,” shares Dr Purushottam. “Landscaping has thus also emerged as a key focus area and enabler of user experiences.” Specific to Mahindra Lifespaces, she adds that all developments are certified ‘green’, resulting in tangible benefits such as reduced maintenance costs and utility bills via water conservation, waste management and energy-efficiency measures. For example, she says, “Our value homes project, Happinest Kalyan, incorporates features that will help reduce user maintenance costs by up to 50 per cent (versus comparable projects in the micro-market). Additionally, indoor air quality is maintained by the use of low-VoC paints; and ventilation and light play an important role in maintaining the circadian rhythm of inhabitants. We ensure adequate daylight illumination and a glare-free indoor environment by way of appropriate wall-to-window ratio and glass selection. Our buildings are also designed keeping in mind the local climate—heat ingress is minimised and thermal comfort is maintained through strategies around orientation, appropriate walling material, window projection and high-performance glass. Green building principles help ensure our projects are environment-friendly across phases, from design to construction and end-use.” Additionally, outdoor activities in natural surroundings are a focus area. For example, Mahindra Lifespaces’ latest value homes project, Happinest Tathawade, has the benefits of healthy living at one with nature via large balconies, 600+ trees within the project, a medicinal grove, a forest trail and a fragrance garden. Spaces inside the homes have been reimagined for changing needs of various facets of life in the new normal. “The lobbies in the project will contain work pods with uninterrupted network for work-from-home needs,” shares Dr Purushottam. “The project is uniquely constructed keeping in mind the altering wellness needs that have regained importance through the pandemic, which can be accessed without stepping out of the development. Sustainability interventions will ensure 70 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in the use phase.” Developers also need to be cognisant of the role of technology in supporting healthy buildings and achieving better operational performance. Thus, at Mahindra Lifespaces’ projects Happinest Kalyan, Happinest Avadi and Windchimes in Bengaluru, water meters installed in each apartment will help residents monitor water usage and avoid water wastage. Also, real-time monitoring of the sewage treatment plant (STP) will optimise performance and mitigate the risk of breakdowns, reveals Dr Purushottam. Clearly, the ‘open’ life shift is worth it! - SERAPHINA D’SOUZA