20 December, 2023
Unlock the doors to real estate success
Read time: 5 minutes

In today's edition:

  • In the news: Villas trump towers, NeomaxED, $1 Chevy
  • My thoughts on: Government’s entry into the luxury market
  • Q&A: Children outgrowing homes

Handpicked stories from my weekly digest

Here are the 5 stories that you need to be aware of from this past week:

  • Villas trump towers: Luxury homebuyers have embraced villas over skyscrapers in 2023 hinting at a rising trend. 8,610 villas were launched in top cities during the year with Bengaluru and Hyderabad leading sales with 73% of the new villas. Affluent buyers seeking privacy and space are believed to be driving this demand with developers like Hiranandani reporting a 3-5% sales uptick. The allure of sprawling plots and customised living spaces are propelling the villa surge, reshaping the real estate landscape. Read more
  • Prestige gains: In a dazzling 2023 display, the Nifty Realty index surged 77% fueled by soaring demand and rising property prices. Prestige Estates, Brigade, and DLF led with impressive gains, as residential sales hit a remarkable high. Analysts credit the growth to a rebound in property prices making residential investments attractive. The top seven cities report a staggering 7% increase in sales value over the entire 2022. With Gurugram's housing sector in the spotlight, 2024 is anticipated to be a harmonious continuation of these positive trends. Read more
  • NeomaxED: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized ₹2.07 billion in assets from Neomax Properties amidst a money laundering probe. This action, part of an ongoing investigation, targets prime properties and investments acquired through alleged illicit means. The government's commitment to combat economic offences, signalling a crackdown on financial malfeasance, is bound to have ripple effects in the real estate and finance worlds though. Read more
  • Higher returns: The Finance Ministry reported a 65% surge in GST return filers to 11.3 million over five years with active GST taxpayers climbing from 10.6 million in April 2018 to 14 million this year. The rise has been attributed to simplified rules, procedures, and effective policy changes by the ministry. November saw a robust GST collection of ₹1.68 trillion, marking the sixth month above ₹1.60 trillion this fiscal year. Read more
  • $1 Chevy: As businesses integrate AI into their operations, Chevrolet had to learn how much AI has still to go via a social media faux pas. Several users tricked Chevrolet’s ChatGPT-enabled AI website assistant into offering a $76,825 Chevy Tahoe for just $1 in a “legally binding deal” with “no takesies-backsies”. Buyers tricked the AI, getting it to agree to any request, leading to a legally binding deal whose legal precedent is unknown as of yet. Chevrolet however caught up to the act and restricted further misuse of its AI bot. Read more

The Lux State


Image credits: Medium

In a surprising move, government bodies have started venturing into the high-stakes arena of luxury real estate. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) this November has launched ₹5 crore duplex penthouses in Dwarka marking a departure from the traditional government focus on affordable housing. Is this a welcome move or should there be a different order of priorities? Here’s my attempt at a nuanced exploration:

Affordable Housing vs. Luxury Living

Traditionally, government housing initiatives focused on providing affordable options for the economically weaker sections and the middle class. The government's entry into luxury real estate challenges this norm. The DDA's launch of premium penthouses could set a precedent that challenges our conventional understanding of the government's role in housing.

Government-led luxury housing

Internationally, state involvement in luxury markets has been a rarity. In the US and France, private developers and investors largely drive high-end projects, with some public-private partnerships for affordable housing units. However, Singapore's Housing and Development Board (HDB) stands out as an example where the government is involved in various housing initiatives, including executive condominiums for the higher-income bracket.


  • Strategic revenue generation: Selling high-end properties could serve as a revenue-generating strategy for government bodies, potentially funding affordable housing projects. This move could make government bodies financially self-reliant, reducing reliance on tax money for other necessary causes.
  • Elevating standards: By entering the luxury market, governments may introduce a higher benchmark for quality, design, and pricing, influencing private developers to further raise their standards. This competition is the base on which the capitalist market thrives and betters itself.


  • Resource allocation: Traditional governance principles suggest directing resources primarily towards addressing the housing needs of the economically marginalised. Investing time and resources in luxury projects may delay addressing the housing needs of those for whom government projects are quite likely, the only option.
  • Tilted playground: Government entry in luxury real estate may disrupt market dynamics, potentially crowding out private players and creating an uneven playing field where the government bodies will have an advantage due to their proximity to power.

Balancing act

Now that the DDA has set a precedent by entering the luxury market, it’s likely that other state units will also follow suit. As builders must prepare for this competition influx, the market and the regulatory bodies must also prepare for the challenges (and the opportunities) that come along with it:

  • Diversified, inclusive approach: Governments, while broadening their field, should perhaps adopt a diversified approach, engaging in luxury real estate without compromising their commitment to affordable housing. This might involve partnering with private developers or ensuring that even a percentage of luxury projects includes affordable components.
  • Market regulation: As fears of an unfair advantage arise, instead of direct participation, governments could focus on regulating the luxury real estate market, ensuring fair practices, affordability benchmarks, and adherence to quality standards rather than taking the yoke themselves.
  • Public-private partnerships: The collaborative PPP efforts between the government and private developers have been a success across sectors and can also become a model for future luxury housing endeavours.

Governments’ entry into the luxury housing market is a bold experiment that demands careful navigation. By learning from global examples and adopting a balanced strategy, India can potentially redefine the role of government in real estate, catering to diverse segments of society while upholding principles of equitable urban development. This journey towards inclusive and sustainable housing will demand of us not only innovation but a judicious blend of affordability and opulence, for which both the public and private sector must come together.


Is a child-centric home a good investment given how children will eventually grow up?
- Shreshth

Hi Shreshth,

It’s true that the utility of children-centric homes changes as children grow up. Features like safety measures (electric outlets) and dedicated play areas will eventually outgrow their need and furniture and decor will face a change of taste as children grow. Therefore, it becomes important to plan your child-centric home in advance according to your needs. With flexible house planning, you can plan to change the purpose of your home’s features as time goes on (like converting a play area into a study). While looking for children-centric housing societies, you might want to look for those which cater to the needs of children of all age groups.

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Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Please conduct your own due diligence prior to making any decisions.

By Ashwinder R. Singh
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