Bangalore is rediscovering its lost charm as the ultimate ‘pensioners paradise’. Its good year round weather, IT crowd, stable realty prices, cosmopolitan nature and comparatively developed infrastructure have contributed to make the city the top pick for developers of senior citizen housing projects.

According to real estate consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), out of the 30 existing senior living projects in India, Bangalore is at the top with 7. This is more than double of its closest competitors such as Chennai, Coimbatore and Pune with 3 such projects each. The report adds that there are about 30 more senior living projects in the pipeline in India of which the highest are in Bangalore followed by Chennai and Goa.

A few developers that are planning their projects in Bangalore include Tata Housing,Ashiana Housing, Covai Properties and Athasri.

TARGET AUDIENCE

According to several developers that The Hindu Business Line spoke to, the prices of senior living houses ranges from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 80 lakh depending on the size, location and facilities provided. Tata Housing’s Riva project is priced at between Rs 45 lakh-Rs 65 lakh in the category it calls ‘affordable luxury’. It has launched 187 units comprising 1 and 2 BHKs of 800 square feet-1200 square feet at an investment of Rs 70 crore.

“We are targeting the meritocrats category, which includes retiring vice presidents, general managers, bureaucrats who are well-read, well-travelled and want to retire with a lifestyle standard they are used to. Our targeted clientele also includes people with children staying abroad, NRIs returning home to retire,” said Chairman of Tata Housing Brotin Banerjee.

PALATE OF AMENITIES

Even young entrepreneurs such as Uday Nanda are planning to launch their maiden ‘assisted living’ housing project in Bangalore. The palate of services varies from modest to the uber fancy depending on the size of your pocket. The layout and architectural aspects of such units includes grab-bars in bathrooms, anti-skid tiles, low-height shelves, ramp access, bigger balconies for sunlight, nurse or servant rooms in bigger units and facilities such as yoga and painting classes, massage , sauna parlour, business centre, emergency concierge service and even a clubhouse!

CONFUSION

However, given the social stigma that tends to be associated with this concept, there are certain marketing challenges in selling such projects. “People often confuse senior living houses with old-age homes and for this we have started the concept of trial apartments, wherein the buyers can stay there for a week before making a decision,” said Ankur Gupta, Joint MD, Ashiana Housing

Though senior living sector is still in its nascent stage in India, by 2025 it is estimated that there will be 173 million seniors above the age of 60 compared to the 76 million today spelling a huge business opportunity. The current estimated demand for senior housing in India is approximately 300,000 units, as per JLL.

manisha.jha@thehindu.co.in

priyanka.pani@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on April 30, 2013)
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