Branded residences – will the early birds find a nest?

The concept of Branded residences is not new to the iconic cities around the world. Celebrities and brand-themed properties are commonplace in countries like Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong etc. Fashion designers like Armani, Gucci, Versace, movie stars and professional athletes have lent their brands to various projects around the world. In recent years, there has been an increased demand for high standards of design, services and brand recognition among the riches in both established and emerging markets. Globally, the association of a branded residence with a traditional hotel is the predominant model in branded residences industry. Typically in this model, the residents have access to some of the services and facilities offered to hotel guests based on a shared assessment, referred to as ‘mandatory services’ and more services packaged as ‘à la carte services’, are available to all residents with a charge imposed on a per use basis. These branded residences either operate as long-stay hotel or are sold outright. Besides brand name, typically these ultra-luxury branded residences come with features that make them exclusive. Association with a brand lends credibility, endorsement and identification to the residences. Indians rolling in money, living in iconic cities worldwide, residing in international-class properties are accustomed to such luxury. These are the people who yearn for the branded residential properties back home in India. In the last couple of years few developers have begun to experiment with different ideas to embrace this opportunity.  The trend started with the association of luxury residential developments and celebrity brands, with movie stars and athletes as brand ambassadors. Few developers even associate their projects with hoteliers like Four Seasons, Leela Kempinski, Radisson and Hyatt to develop and operate these branded residences in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune. In most of these projects, the developers tie up with an international luxury hospitality or lifestyle brand. The branded residences in association with a hotel not only speak of sophisticated style and sumptuous furnishings, but are also equipped with impeccable service delivered in five-star hotels. On the other hand, branded residences without hotel collaboration generally have an association of premium brands like design by Armani, Versace and Yoo, among others at the time of development.

As the experience with branded residences is somewhat limited in India, there is still an uncertainty as to whether their buyers will find the value equation for this cossetted lifestyle to be satisfying. This is because most of these projects are at the construction stage. But most of these projects promise to offer a rich menu of amenities and services commensurate with the lifestyle defined by the associated brand. For example, premium mix-use development project Delhi 1, which is under construction. This offers branded residences promising round-the-clock Four Seasons services to take care of all the daily life needs such as valet parking, 24-hour security, PBX, phone system, internet access, common maintenance etc. These exclusive residences also have full access to other hotel services such as butler service, housekeeping, laundry, spa, grocery stocking, business assistance, limousine and helicopter transportation etc. on a À la carte basis. Also, Ireo Grand Hyatt Residences in Gurgaon has been strategically designed to overlook an approximately 50 acres of golf park. The project promises to offer two private lifts along with a private foyer and pamper its residents with an exclusive clubhouse operated by Hyatt. This clubhouse will feature a library lounge, restaurant, banquet hall, sports, gymnasium and yoga room, heated swimming pool, outdoor decks which doubles up to create event space. Amenities such as concierge, valet, laundry services, in-residence dining, and moving facilities will also be available to the residents. here are many more such projects coming up in across India such as the Radisson Blue Residences and Hilton Residences in Bangalore, and The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Mumbai. 

As the target customers are of course the uber rich population, these projects are high priced with the budget ranging between 5 crores and 30 crores and may even go beyond. The project prices generally depend on the brand association, services, location and size of the residences. The investment in branded residences is not a speculative one in second residential property aimed at short term gains.  As most of these branded residences in India are in very early stages it is amateur to judge the kind of return these properties will make in the long run.  However, with the high quality living trend picking up in India, demand for these residential developments will undoubtedly rise.


About the author

Surabhi Arora, leads the research team in India and has more than 13 years of experience in carrying out multi-disciplinary research and analysis in the area of finance and real estate industry. Surabhi specialises in real estate economics, policies, commercial and residential real estate research with in-depth knowledge of market dynamics across major markets in India.


 

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