Gurgaon- based Signature Global Group has carved its niche as an affordable housing player in a short span of time. With its focus on high quality, lifestyle green homes and an impeccable track record of timely delivery with its motto of ‘Har Parivar Ek Ghar’ (a home for every family), the Group has successfully established itself as a leader in affordable housing, not just in the NCR but in the entire country. And the man behind the successful journey of Signature Global is its dynamic Founder & Chairman, Pradeep Aggarwal. In this exclusive interview with Torbit Realty, Pradeep Aggarwal who is also the Chairman of Assocham National Council on Real Estate, Housing & Urban Development, speaks about the post-covid residential scenario, future of affordable housing and his company’s business plans. by Vinod Behl
Q. – Post-covid, what changes have come in the affordable housing market?
Affordable Housing is one segment where demand will not witness any downward trend. Housing for all is a big mission and there are millions of people looking for their own affordable home. So, what we need to focus is; providing adequate supply to match the demand. Post Covid, this demand has risen even more as during lockdowns; people living in rented accommodation faced many challenges. Staying in one’s own home is now considered safer and more secure. With the work from home (WFH) culture being accepted nation-wide, people are not shying away from buying their own spaces in city’s outskirts.
Q. -The trend of affordable luxury independent floors has caught the fancy of home buyers. Signature Global has also forayed into this segment a big way. What according to you is driving the popularity of independent floors, especially those in gated communities?
Independent Floors have always been preferred over flats in high rise buildings for the privacy they offer. Since pandemic has taught everybody to adapt to changes. Work from home has become one of the major factors driving the lifestyle, change. We at Signature Global, are addressing this change by providing low-rise premium lifestyle floors in our gated complexes. Post-covid, we have upgraded the homes by introducing additional space for work from home along with each of the Independent Floors. Also, people are realizing the need to live close to nature to maintain good health. The company therefore has been offering well maintained terrace gardens to the 4th floor owners in the projects with adequate green spaces around them. Signature Global’s recent projects are EDGE certified and will be providing Green Home Certificates to home owners.
Secondly, our independent floors as compared to stand alone builder floors in Gurugram are more secure as they are in a gated complex and have more than 30 luxury amenities including, clubhouse, swimming pool and butterfly gardens.
Q. – Post-covid, the share of the sale of mid-priced homes has surpassed affordable housing share in the overall home sales. How do you see this trend panning out in the New Year?
The demand for affordable housing will always be high as ‘Housing for All’ in a nation like India is a biggest task. On the contrary, mid-priced homes are becoming a popular choice of people who could not afford luxury flats. Mid-priced housing segment did not have many options till now but with increasing availability of such options with attractive offerings, the coming year would definitely see more traction.
Q. – Affordable Housing has made big inroads in tier 2-3 cities. How do you see the emergence of smaller cities in the coming times?
The housing segment will see manifold increase in demand for affordable and organized residential projects which offer a controlled environment. Infrastructural development and increasing connectivity between metro cities and tier 2& 3 cities will help smaller cities emerge in a positive way. Other factors like reverse migration post covid, will also push residential demand in smaller cities.
Q. – Some time back, you had forayed into retail real estate with the launch of a shopping mall in Vaishali. What is the current status of that mall and any new plans on the retail front?
Signature Global Mall in Vaishali, Ghaziabad has emerged as the first Food Mall of Delhi-NCR. This mall is an interesting combination of dine-in restaurants and food court and office spaces on the higher floors. Signature Global Mall offers various cuisines that were out of reach for people in this part of the NCR region. Delivered in 2021, the mall has several popular brand restaurants like Haldirams, Barista, Khan Chacha, Ghoomer and many others.
Talking of the new plans on the retail front, Signature Global is set to come up with a new mall and few SCO’s in Gurugram. Looking at the new infrastructural development in Gurugram many areas lack markets within reachable distance. Our new ventures will fill up this vacuum.
Q. – Amidst rising input costs and squeezing margins of affordable housing developers, how long do you think the prices will remain affordable?
The prices for affordable homes have remained static at Rs. 4000 psi ever since the introduction of the Affordable Housing Policy in 2014 despite the consistent rise in the cost of building materials. It is high time the developers get relief by way of checking shrinking margins. Home prices would rise anytime now Therefore, it is the best time for home seekers to buy their affordable home.
Q. – What are Signature Global’s business plans for the upcoming financial year. Any plans to expand into new geographies?
Signature Global has recorded highest residential sales this year and we are all set to double these figures in 2022. Apart from concentrating on our ongoing projects for their timely delivery, we will move into shop cum office plots and retail developments. Meanwhile, affordable housing projects and independent floors will continue to be our prime focus. For now we will be active in Gurugram, Sohna, Karnal and Ghaziabad markets as there is no dearth of demand for good housing projects here.