In recent years, India has seen a steep increase in diseases like diabetes and hypertension with childhood obesity being the latest and most worrisome issue. Reports peg nearly 9% of schoolchildren in India to be obese.
All of this seems to have touched a nerve.
In 2017, a report released by Mintel, a market intelligence agency said that 48% of the Indian population aspired to a healthier lifestyle. The rising popularity of natural, organic, and ‘free from’ food products along with gym memberships are key pointers towards a paradigm shift in the Indian lifestyle.
What does this have to do with real estate, you ask? The answer is everything.
It is a shift that has influenced many industries, including the property sector as homebuyers seek facilities that can aid their new lifestyles. Apartment complexes and gated communities now feature facilities that couldn’t have been imagined before. Yoga areas, jogging tracks, and swimming pools are passe. We are now talking serious sports like football fields, hockey fields, and golf courses.
But homebuyers seek these facilities not just to be fit and healthy. The reasons are many, and developers recognise that there is an entirely new profile or class of homebuyers who consider the absence of sports facilities to be a deal breaker. These are mostly young, modern millennials who stand apart from older buyers due to many factors. Here are a few of the important ones.
Health conscious and fit
Wellness is back in vogue like never before, and this is the key reason that sports are back in play (pun intended). That means meditation, activities and games, and right food choices are now the need of the hour. Fitness is an integral part of our lives, and homebuyers seek a wider range of amenities to support this aspect.
There was a time when indulging in sports like tennis was considered a luxury. Not any more. Disposable incomes and increased exposure to different lifestyles have driven up the need for the maintenance of a certain type of living and status. This social shift includes dedicating time to playing sports like golf and tennis that was earlier limited to the affluent class.
Disappearing green spaces
There is no more space for nature in our cities and suburbs are rapidly getting concretised as well. There is a real need for fresh, unpolluted air pockets, and this is where sports facilities come in. Gated communities are devoting more space to ‘corners of tranquillity’ and landscaped gardens to cater to the increasing demand from families with senior members or young children who want to ensure a better quality of life.
Social media and apps
The digital world is inhabited mostly by millennials, and they are leveraging the power of social media to aid the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. The popularity of apps like Strava, Runkeeper, and Fitbit, which promote friendly competition, help users to share achievements and receive encouragement, and to track their progress is another pivotal factor that has enabled people to make sports an integral part of their daily routine.
Sensing such evolving tastes and awareness levels, more developers are now building homes incorporating facilities that focus on sports, fitness, and all-round wellness. Here are a few interesting examples.
Embassy Pristine in Bangalore
Spread over nearly 15 acres of land, the apartment complex has devoted 70,000 sq ft of that land space to a comprehensive club and sports centre. It has swimming pools, courts for racquet games, a practice cricket pitch, and table tennis areas among others.
Jaypee Greens Sports City in Greater Noida, NCR
Jaypee Sports City is one of the first planned developments in India centred around sports. With over 5000 acres of land, the complex has dedicated space for a cricket stadium, a hockey stadium, a football field, a go-karting facility, and even an F1 racing track.
Nirmal Lifestyle US Open Apartments, Mulund
Terming themselves as ‘sports lifestyle apartments’, US Open apartments located in Mulund has the usual amenities like a jogging track, swimming pools, and a fitness centre. But what elevates them above the rest is that they have affiliated themselves with the US Open for the project and have appropriately built lawn tennis courts in the complex. The presence of a baseball pitch and badminton courts make them a highly fitness-centric residential complex.