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Construction : Web Exclusive | July 2013 | Source : Construction Update

Developers eye retirement housing market in India

Housing projects for retirement communities are just beginning to gain traction in India, where the multi-generational joint family structure endures despite rampant modernisation. The concept of housing for the elderly still carries a social stigma in the country, which accounts for less than 1 per cent of the $25 billion senior housing industry worldwide. But rising incomes, longer life expectancy and the rise of nuclear families as more people relocate for jobs are driving demand for retirement homes in Asia's third-largest economy, and attracting developers and investors.

Paranjape Schemes, which manages Athashri, is among a handful of companies tapping the burgeoning senior living sector including Max India, backed by Goldman Sachs Group, LIC Housing Finance, The Covai Group and Ashiana Housing. Tata Housing Development Co Ltd, part of India's biggest conglomerate, launched its first senior housing project in May in the southern city of Bangalore, and plans at least four more, catering to independent retirees looking for better security and services than what is available in ordinary housing.

Brotin Banerjee, CEO, Tata Housing sayd that a significant section of seniors are independent, financially stable, well-travelled and socially connected, and as a result have a fairly good idea of how they want to spend time after retirement. Tata Housing expects revenues of Rs 950 million ($16 million) from its Rs 700 million project investment over three years.

While India is much younger than Japan, China or the United States, the number of people over age 60 is expected to more than double to 173 million by 2025. Real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle estimates current annual demand for senior homes across 135 Indian cities at 3,12,000, far outstripping supply of 10,000 to 15,000 new homes now in the pipeline.

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