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Posted at: Feb 13, 2016, 1:21 AM; last updated: Feb 13, 2016, 12:55 AM (IST)

Luxury @ Kasauli

National-level players have added luxury to the realty platter in this Himachal town. Whether it will be a recipe to revive the property market remains to be seen

Geetu Vaid

With its cobbled market place and quaint cottages Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh may still be carrying  a distinct imprint of the  British era, but beneath the  canopy of fir and pine trees winds of change are blowing, especially in the real estate market. While all across the country the realty sector is grappling with rising prices as well as low sale volumes, this small town ensconced in the Himalayan ranges is emerging as a destination for luxury realty. 

The real estate landscape here has changed —  so now when you think of property in Kasauli you actually are thinking of having a plush home fitted with the latest lifestyle amenities and a cool investment in the range of Rs 60 lakh to Rs 8 crore depending on your choice. 

The weather as well as scenic beauty of Kasauli, which is 65 km from Chandigarh, have always  kept it high on the wishlist of those looking for a second home or a vacation home in the hills. But the entry of national realty players like the DLF group, Tata Housing, Silverglades, Aamoksh One Eighty, besides Fire Capital and Woodside Developments etc over the past few years has seen a sizeable number of luxury units being added to the residential inventory in Kasauli. 

Villas, independent floors,  fully furnished two and three-BHK apartments, cottages, as well as retirement homes are what one can find in Kasauli’s inventory now.  

“Kasauli is  gaining prominence and emerging as a soughtafter location for investment because of its proximity to the national capital and Chandigarh. The region has witnessed an increased interest among high net worth individuals and professionals with high incomes and an inclination to purchase luxury properties. Moreover, Kasauli’s natural, scenic surroundings make it a perfect location for retirement homes for those who wish to spend the rest of their lives away from the city”, says Brotin Banerjee, MD & CEO, Tata Housing Development Company. Tata Housing has villas and independent floors on offer at its Myst project in Kasauli. 

Projects and prices

Country’s largest realty player DLF has plots on offer in its Samavana project located on Kothar Road.   An exclusive clubhouse, vehicle-free residences accessible through golf carts, recreational facilities, power back up and provision to get customised homes built by the developer etc are some of the facilities that the buyers can get ifor plots available for Rs 1.69 crore onwards in this project.  

Tata Housing has over 70  units in ‘Myst’ that is spread over approximately 20 acres. Large balconies, windows, infinity pools, green walls are some of the features that the units with biophillic design uses to integrate nature in the living spaces. Along with a clubhouse the residents will also get water cascades, gym, sports areas, terraced gardens in the project. The price of 2,3 and 4 BHK units ranges between Rs 3.25 crore to Rs 6.46 crore.

Silverglades is another group that has a premium gated community — Silverglades Hill Homes —  coming up here. The project , located at the Brewery Road, is spread over 21 bighas and has 30 independent foors and 9 villas on offer. The price is Rs 2 crore for the independent floors and between Rs 4 crore and Rs 5 crore for the villas.

Woodside Developments had a project with 35 villas of 2,800 to 5,000 sq ft area complete with a staple clubhouse and other amenities. 

The latest to enter this market is Aamoksh One Eighty Hospitality Pvt Ltd. which is coming up with a retirement home project Aamoksh— having 88 two and one BHK units. “Kasauli provides a perfect setting for those wanting to spend their retirement years in the lap of nature and we have seen a very positive response from HNIs for this project”, said Sanjay Lakhotia, founder of the company. The project that will have facilities for assisted living also has two BHK apartments priced at Rs 98 lakh and one BHK for Rs 64 lakh.

Buyer response

The developers, however, would have one believe that the relatively higher price of these homes is no deterrent for buyers, with the claims of having sold a major portion of these units. While DLF maintains over 90 per cent sale in its project which in any case was a property opened to select customer base, Tata Housing maintains that it has got an  overwhelming response from consumers across the country. “We have already sold more than 50 per cent of the available inventory within the first two years of the launch”, says Banerjee. Even at Aamoksh the developers claim to have sold a major chunk of the 88 units already. 

However, local property dealers are not very upbeat about the high priced projects by these big builders. “At the end of the day no one can deny that Kasauli is a small town and all these developments will not make people stay here permanently and moreover such high prices are not fully justified”, says Manoj Negi, a local property dealer. Most of these projects are being sold to people from metros and bigger towns who are used to such high prices and this has affected the realty market in and around Kasauli as highly jacked up prices are being quoted making several genuine buyers rethink about investing here. “How many of these luxury units will actually be sold will determine whether Kasauli has truly become a luxury housing destination”, he adds. 

Buyer profile

Young entrepreneurs, industrialist, banking and multinational executives  interested in luxury housing are investing in this segment here. “While the average age of a buyer has come down by a few years in the last decade, there has been a considerable demand from youth for the luxury projects. Their consumption of luxury good is growing by the day”, says Banerjee. 

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