Dileep Athavale, TNN, Apr 24, 2010, 06.05am IST
Tags:Pune|Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj
PUNE: Indian real estate scene is witnessing the emergence of senior
citizens' homes as a new market segment as the number of projects and
housing stock directed at this section of population is rising fast, a
report by real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM)
The observation is highlighted in a report Senior housing sector in
India: Key Trends,' which JLLM released on Friday. "The status of
seniors in Indian market is experiencing a sea-change, owing to their
growing cohort size, augmented financial independence and change in
mindset. They are no longer considered withdrawn, risk averse and
financially dependent. The immense potential of this segment, with its
unique needs and promises, offers an array of opportunities to the
Indian real estate market," the report said.
Saumyajit Roy, associate vice-president (senior living) at Jones Lang
LaSalle Meghraj, told TOI, "Five years ago, there were only about 3 to
4 developers focusing on senior living sector to any degree. Moreover,
their focus was diffused and their approach was not as well-researched
and need-based, as it is today. In the current context, there are
around 14 developers actively exploring this segment."
In India, more than 60 per cent of households are nuclear and 8.94 per
cent of the population is aged 60-plus, indicating that the aged are
in greater need of support than ever.
According to real estate market sources, the number of housing units
being built specifically for seniors has increased four to five fold
and the segment is on a growth path. "We estimate the number of units
in this segment at about 4,000 now, but the way the segment is growing
we expect this number to jump to over 20,000 in three years," said the
chief executive officer of a Mumbai-based real estate consultancy firm
who did not want to be named.
The report pointed out that while opportunities exist, it is important
to comprehend the ecosystem in which seniors exist in India. It is
imperative that real estate developers understand and acknowledge the
unique requirements of the elderly while catering to the sector. The
aged population faces numerous issues, typical of the sunset years of
"A growing sense of insecurity, craving for companionship, fear of
getting obsolete and loss of relevance within the family, increasing
physical disability, difficulty to access transport, a need for
quality healthcare and geriatric care, complexity in conducting the
daily chores of family life are some of the several issues that the
aged face today. These, compounded by poor access to government and
other support systems, insurance and legal assistance, immobilise
them. These nuances of old age need to be thoroughly recognised by the
developers," the report has elaborated.
The report underlines that there are rising numbers of seniors who are
adapting to the idea of senior living' spending the sunset years of
their lives with similar-aged companions and sharing facilities in
settings of enablement and security. The report also points out to a
recent survey of households with senior citizens which revealed that
over 60 per cent found the concept of a senior citizen's club or a
senior citizen's association as a viable and practical one.
Contemporary retirement homes or resorts have replaced the earlier
concept of old age homes, which symbolised the last option for needy
and abandoned elderly, it said.
City-based Paranjape Schemes Construction Limited has pioneered the
concept in the city with their project Atha Shree (the beginning),
which has thus far completed three such projects and has set its sight
on other cities and countries to develop retirement villages.'
Another realty firm, Ashiana Housing Limited, is constructing the Rs
200 crore Utsav Lavasa in Lavasa City near Pune. The project will
comprise 475 retirement housing units comprising of villas and
multiple choices apartments. Manoj Tyagi, vice-president, Ashiana
housing, said there is a growing acceptance among discerning Indian
senior citizens about retirement homes. He said the residents of the
retirement resort will be able to maintain the active, healthy
lifestyle that they have grown accustomed to, but with more luxuries
like hobby clubs, activity rooms, swimming pool or health club.