– By Akash Pharande, Managing Director – Pharande Spaces
India has been witnessing a consistent rise in urbanization over the years. A survey by the United Nations projects that by 2030, over 40.76% of India’s population will live in urban regions. World Bank statistics from 2017 add weight to this estimate – in that year, about 34% of the country’s population already lived in cities.
India’s urbanization trend will continue, and by 2050, India will be among the leaders in global urbanization, along with China, Indonesia, Nigeria, and the United States. And India’s urban ethos is driven by young people – dual-income nuclear families and up-and-coming single professionals.
Data from Statistica, which shows the age distribution of India between 2011 and 2021, lean towards 67.51% in the 15-64 age group. In 2022, the median age of an Indian was 28.7 years, as opposed to 38.4 in China and 48.6 in Japan.
Simultaneously, the nuclear family is quickly taking over as the majority of Indian families today have broken away from their once-joint origins and are now defined by five or fewer individuals.
Nuclear Family – The Urban Phenomenon
Today’s millennials aspire to live lifestyles based on modern options. They want to be financially independent, select their life partners without being influenced by the older generation, raise their own kids in modern, urban settings, and send them to reputable schools and colleges.
The success of a modern nuclear family depends on maintaining a laser-like focus on earning power, job advancement, and savvy investments. As a reward for this focus, modern young Indians expect to live in security and comfort and look for homes that can deliver this comfort.
The Millennial Comfort Revamp
While the pursuit of comfort hasn’t changed over the generations, its definition certainly has. For India’s young urbanites today, a comfortable home is defined by adequate size, the right location, smart home features, and top-grade amenities and facilities.
Where their parents may have been happy to live in smaller homes near the city’s traditional office hubs, stretching their budgets to buy such homes, subjecting the family to chaotic, cramped inner-city living, a massive number of Indian millennials grew up in such limited environments and are determined to live better lives.
This orientation has, in recent years, caused developers to shift their focus from compact housing projects near the core areas to spacious townships and gated communities in the suburbs. These projects have everything that the previously popular ones lacked – greenery, sustainability features, technology-driven comfort and convenience, high-level security, and, most of all, enough space for the family to grow.
The always-crucial factor of location has also undergone a sea change. The inner city has fallen out of vogue. The preference of young Indian urbanites has gone from ‘central’ to ‘well-connected’. The metro system and ring roads have caused our cities to expand hugely in scope, making less expensive outlying areas even more desirable than the congested city centers.
Various reports by leading real estate consultants highlight the increased demand for bigger homes made affordable by their non-central locations and reliable by their developers’ reputation for quality.
Townships – New Urban Comfort Standard
With ultra-modern townships now being developed in non-central locations, high-grade comfortable living standards have become a very approachable goal. The previous mold has been broken, and an entirely new standard of urban comfort has been set. These projects have everything it takes to live spaciously.
Young Indians are buying into projects that support their desire for space, convenience, and safety both inside their homes and within the projects. Unlike in previous years, there is now a huge demand for on-site amenities that improve the quality of life. It’s no longer just about four walls but an integrated lifestyle.
The best-selling townships today feature spacious and well-designed living spaces, incorporating modern architectural and interior design principles. They prioritize functionality, aesthetics, and the efficient utilization of space, enhancing residents’ overall quality of life.
They also have advanced security systems, such as CCTV cameras, access control mechanisms, and security personnel, which create a safer living environment. Unlike the housing projects of yesteryears, these townships have highly efficient facilities management systems that tackle waste management, maintenance, repairs, and utility upkeep.
They have well-designed community spaces and recreational facilities such as parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, gyms, and community centers. These promote an active and healthy lifestyle, encourage social interaction among residents, and provide spaces for relaxation and leisure activities.
Tech-savvy millennials also expect technology that enhances their living experience. Smart home systems, such as automated lighting, temperature control, visitor monitoring, and appliance control, have increasingly become must-haves in the new urban comfort sphere.
Comfort with a Conscience
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Indian millennial’s concept of urban comfort also includes having an easier conscience. They expect sustainability features that address the mounting environmental concerns that are constantly in the news now.
Sustainable and energy-efficient features such as solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, rainwater harvesting systems, and green spaces reduce the project’s carbon footprint, lower utility bills, and result in a more environmentally friendly community.
Indeed, the concept of urban comfort has come a long way over the years. And indeed, it is a constantly evolving theme that will see rapid and regular changes in the years to come. Indian homebuyers expect a lot more from their homes than their parents did – and developers have little choice but to deliver ‘real’ value in a changing world.