Real estate honchos cashing in on grey citizen market

Published: 18th June 2013 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2013 07:58 AM   |  A+A-


As the joint family system in India is slowly fading away leaving the elderly and the pensioners lonely and vulnerable, real estate developers are trying to cash in on this segment by providing them retirement homes.

“Retirement housing is catching up in India but it is unlike the usual real estate project,” says managing director of Bahri Estates, Hemant Bahri.

Bahri, whose massive Anandam Retirement Home on the foothills of Kodaikanal is making news globally, feels senior housing is not about just selling the project and then focusing on the next one. It is also about how well one manages the project after it is constructed by providing care and warmth to the senior citizens.

As per Jones Lang LaSalle India, the senior housing is a $25 billion industry worldwide but India is a relatively younger country in this sector when compared demographically to the US and Japan. It is believed by 2025, there will be 173 million seniors above the age of 60 compared to the 76 million now. The current estimated demand for senior housing in India is approximately 300,000 units.

Such projects usually do not cater to any particular families. “We are not targeting only bureaucrats or doctors. We want a good mix of people for our project,” says Bahri, whose project was the only Indian project to be awarded Best Retirement Development in Asia Pacific and India.

Talking about his project, Bahri says that Anandam will soon be having a massive recreation facility in a 50,000 square feet area. “This is massive  compared to any other project in the country,” he says proudly. Interestingly, developers are looking for minute details like having grab bars in bathrooms to having hooter systems, single key entry to the villa besides anti-skid tiles. Bahri adds that Anandam will also have a hospital to provide healthcare facilities for the elderly.

“We have taken the services of Aamoksh One Eighty, a joint venture company between Aamoksh Leisure Living Pvt. Ltd. and One Eighty of USA. The company is in the business of managing, developing, designing and operating retirement communities,” he says.

Currently, around 80 villas are scheduled to be ready in the next two months. In the first phase we will have 250 villas and are planning to build 15,00 homes  on 270 acres of land, states Bahri.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle India, the prices of the property vary from Rs 25 lakh to Rs1 crore. Most of the senior living projects are positioned in the affordable segment, bearing in mind the fact that the end consumers are senior citizens with limited resources and no sources of regular source of income.

However, there has been a gradual shift visible in Indian society, with the emergence financial independent and lifestyle-oriented seniors. This has triggered the growth of high end to luxury senior living products in the range of Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore and upwards.

 Bahri says that the cost of a one BHK villa including a bedroom, hall, and kitchen is Rs 29 lakh, while a three BHK villa costs around Rs 75 lakh.

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