Technology is steadily making inroads into the country’s residential market. Growing awareness of sophisticated tools and features is leading the modern-day home buyer to seek a home that meets the technological requirements.
If reports are to be believed, the smart homes market in India is expected to grow at 30 per cent year-on-year, says a study by Schneider Electric India. The main factors that are expected to fuel growth of smart homes are technological advancement, need for convenience and comfortable living among the working class today. While most of the buyers prefer to buy a home that is already equipped with smart features, there are some who hire professionals to retrofit their apartments with built-in appliances.
In the current volatile economic scenario, sustainable solutions for housing and energy are the need of the hour. It is not surprising, therefore, that the smart home market in the country is growing at a rapid pace. According to the recent study, this home segment will double in revenue every three years. So, what is driving demand for smart homes in the Indian real estate market?
Shivakshi Gogia, CEO, Ascent Group says, “Global warming, conservation of natural resources, awareness about alternate sources of energy and upgrading technology are some factors pushing the growth of smart homes in the country.” With the advent of new technology, the requirements of home buyers have seen a drastic change. In addition to sophisticated features, smart homes have state-of-the-art security system and energy efficiency mechanism. Electrical connections, functions and facilities in a smart home can be connected to a smartphone or a computer.
In light of the growing economic uncertainties, smart homes offer value-for-money in the long term, say experts. While the initial cost of investment may be high, enhanced comfort and security prove to be beneficial in the long run. In addition, lower energy consumption also helps justify the high investment cost.
V P Mahendru, Chairman and Managing Director, Eon Electric says, "The need for a safe and secure home coupled with modern amenities, powered by computing devices and information technology is a feature today's modern home buyer is looking for. The smart home market is evolving with newer lighting systems such as energy-efficient lighting, high-tech security system and entertainment system that is drawing more and more customers to the concept."
Developers across major cities have responded to the increasing demand by launching housing projects that feature technologically-advanced homes. Some have gone a step further and launched homes that can respond to their owner’s command with a voice recognition system. Raheja Developers, for example, have introduced such a system in an upcoming luxury project in Gurgaon.
Here are some key factors that have sparked interest in this home segment:
- Tech-savvy buyers: Developers are quick to realise that today’s young home buyers want to make optimum use of technology. Therefore, unique features that can help to monitor and control the entire space are being introduced. In other words, home buyers are looking for an automated home that can be customised to their needs as well as their individual budgets. Features such as climate control, for example, make it possible to access the air-conditioning from a mobile device. Open the front gate by clicking a button or sync the home entertainment system using a single mobile application are some of the other user-friendly features.
- Rising disposable income: Luxury housing in recent years has seen a rising number of young home buyers, who are earning higher disposable income. The smart home segment has also grown owing to this segment’s aspirations of a higher standard of living.
- Reduced power consumption: Energy efficiency is among the top attractions of a smart home, say experts. Sophisticated tools in a smart home aim to reduce power consumption and therefore, cut down on electricity bills. This helps justify the money invested in buying a smart home.
- Security: Modern-day security systems have also come of age. Smart homes have a CCTV surveillance system, which can cover a wide area and record in low light.
Apart from metros, tier 2 and tier 3 cities have a lot of potential for smart homes in the future. “Lucknow, Varanasi, Jhansi, Moradabad, Allahabad, Indore, Jabalpur and Patna could be the next cities for the smart home market,” says Gogia. Firstly, these cities are rich in land bank and resources. Secondly, people are becoming more aware about the benefits of smart homes in the long run.