Smart homes are a major step on the evolutionary ladder for residential spaces, and their primary aim is to make living more comfortable, convenient, secure, entertaining, and sustainable. Powered by gadgets and computing technologies, smart homes were the prerogative of the very rich in the past — but no more.
Today, smart home technologies have become affordable and every other average household uses some form of smart home automation or the other. Smart home as an end product from developers are also drawing more buyers in urban India. In integrated townships, smart home features are an expected advantage and considered a desirable part of the overall product offering.
Thanks to constant technological advancements, smart homes are also becoming ‘smarter’ with every passing year. Just a few years ago, smart Indian homes were primarily marketed as homes with advanced security features like cameras, smart door locking systems and similar surveillance. Today, the implications have expanded to include electronically enabled lighting systems, fire detection systems, gas leakage detection, energy efficiency monitoring, entertainment systems, etc.
In India, the market for smart homes has been growing steadily. Every year, the uptake of smart homes in India is increasing by between 15-18 per cent in tier 1 cities and by between 5-10 per cent in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This dynamic has especially been driven by the increase in the number of working couples with dual incomes in metro cities. With both spouses working, a family is financially capable of opting for a smart home, which do cost a bit more than homes without smart features.
In particular, home automation is regarded as a desirable solution to keep homes safe while they are not occupied — either during the day when the inhabitants are at work, or for extended periods when they are vacationing. Smart surveillance features also allow the safety of children and elderly people to be monitored remotely via smartphone apps. In integrated townships, the smart security features must be integrated with the larger security measures at the project level.
Thanks to deeper Internet penetration and the rising concerns about home security amid the ever-escalating crime rates in our cities, most potential home buyers today are aware of the smart home concept. While this awareness is slightly lower in non-metro cities, the overall predisposition to this product is quite positive. In upper segment homes, smart home features are the norm rather than an exception and, as already mentioned, homes in integrated townships are considered fashionable.
Popular features in an Indian smart home
l Security: Video door monitoring, motion sensors, gas leakage detection, intrusion sensors, curtain sensors, fire detection and control
l Lighting control: Remote on/off, presence detection
l Electrical: Smart air conditioning, smart refrigerators
l Entertainment: AV controls, gaming consoles
l Communication: GPS navigation connected to entry and exit, proximity door unlocking
For the average Indian buyer of a smart home, the unit home must above all include electronic security features. Energy efficiency is another aspect that is becoming increasingly popular among home buyers. People are willing to spend more for a smart AC, smart TV or a smart refrigerator. Advanced security, however, has been the main driver.
In India, the barriers to large-scale acceptance of smart homes are crumbling. There are, however, a few factors that hinder mass acceptance: Cost and the lack of awareness. Most Indian customers expect that smart technologies will add to the security of living in some way of the other; if it does not, the offering is close to unacceptable. Things like AC control or smart gadgets are considered desirable, but not an absolute necessity. The demand for technologies like video conferencing, communication across floors or even curtain control are largely limited to commercial spaces and are not yet a big factor in smart residential units in India.
While average Indian home buyers are positive to the idea of a smart home, they are willing to spend no more than 1-3 per cent extra for a home featuring smart solutions. The upper-income groups extend the premium acceptance to 5-8 per cent; which, it must be stated, is still low when seen in the light of the overall benefits available in smart homes.
Yet, things are definitely looking up in this space — awareness and acceptance levels are increasing, and in the near future, we will be getting closer to smart homes becoming the default choice for home buyers.
The writer is Aravind Jain Managing Director – Pride Group – Source The Hindu
The government has lifted the ban on construction of multi-storeyed buildings (MSB) on approved plots in the Chennai metropolitan area (CMA). The move is expected to trigger a spurt of new multi-storeyed projects in redevelopment ventures, mostly initiated by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB).
In a government order, housing and urban development secretary S Krishnan said the approval of the government was based on an announcement made in the assembly. However, there would be restrictions on construction of MSBs in select areas. As per the order, MSBs will not be allowed in aquifer recharge areas including the Buckingham Canal, areas near the Cooum river between Park railway station and Napier Bridge and Redhills catchment areas.
Realty sector sources said the move would ensure more space within the city for MSB projects. Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), Chennai chapter vice-president S Sridharan, said the move would result in developers revising their existing plans from special category buildings to MSBs. “The development regulations of the CMDA allows MSBs only on roads with a width of 60 feet. Against the backdrop of the government order, it is likely that revised applications could be filed for proposed projects that would qualify for constructing MSBs,” he said.
However, the question of developers renegotiating with land owners in joint ventures passing on the benefits following the move remains unanswered.
Source: Economic Times, Chennai
Did you receive an SMS alert from Chennai corporation to make a self-declaration of your house/flat details for property tax purposes? This is part of a system put in place by the state to introduce a revised tax regime.
A detailed set of guidelines has been issued to commissioners of all local bodies on the preparation of a master list of properties and a time frame has been set to map them. At a meeting, officials were asked to first accumulate records of all properties available with housing society, housing board, slum clearance board, ration cards maintained by civil supplies department and other registers maintained by municipalities and corporations to verify omissions in assessment.
Officials are to cross-check records by going door-to-door and finally submit the verified data to seniors. Armed with this verified database, officials will ensure that residents file returns from October 20.
“Field staff will be deployed and 100% filing of returns must be ensured. The returns filed by the owners will be kept in safe custody with no room for tampering. Wherever returns could not be obtained before the due date, the property concerned should be inspected by the revenue staff and returns prepared and submitted to the office,” said a senior official.
Officials of the municipal administration department told TOI that all officials were informed of these guidelines and the deadline. “While everyone is aware that property tax has been revised, we wanted to create a system for officials to implement it which is why we came out with a set of guidelines for them,” said a senior official.
Source Komal Gautham, Economic Times, Chennai
Parent documents mandatory for land registrations in Tamil Nadu
Three days after mandating parent documents for registering properties, the registration department has eased the process. Now, the sub registrar offices will accept statement from banks that they were in possession of the parent documents, in case of mortgage. This apart, a written undertaking is necessary for laminated parent document that cannot be scanned for registrations. Furnishing parent document was mandated from June 11 to prevent fraudulent registrations.
In a circular, the inspector general of registration said that people, whose parent documents are with the financial institutions, can furnish statement from the respective banks that financial institutions are possessing the parent documents. The statement can be considered as a document for registrations, it added. As far as registration of plots and flats are concerned, the parent document was required to facilitate registration of the first unit from the same property. “However, the parent document is must during the resale of property to another person,” the circular added.
The registrations department made parent document an essential document for property registrations, wherein the document would be completely scanned by the sub registrar ahead of processing the registration. However, sources said, it caused inconvenience for the public since not all those registering their properties had the parent document, which are lying in different places including mortgaged with banks. Also scanning every document at the sub registrar office led to delay in registrations.
Against this backdrop, the registration department issued certain clarifications on June 13 to its previous order stating that only the first page of the parent document would be scanned for the verification purpose. It further said that those coming for registration must give an undertaking that documents, which are laminated could not be scanned for registration of land documents.
Source: Economic Times, Chennai
Chennai Metro Rail: Track work on Anna Salai underground line nearing completion
Laying of tracks in the underground section on the Anna Salai has reached the final stages.
Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has floated tenders for the final finishing of track works from AG-DMS to Thousand Lights. The remaining 10km section of phase-1 between Washermenpet and AG-DMS is expected to be ready by December 2018.
While the laying of tracks has been completed, CMRL is now looking for a company to do finishing work on the downline for a stretch of 1.7km.
“Track work is still underway between Central Metro and Government Estate. We are likely to begin trial run by September,” an official said.
Metro trains are operated on ballastless tracks.
Construction of the stations and its entry structure is in full-swing between Government Estate and AG-DMS. One of the entry structures of stations Government Estate and AG-DMS is being integrated with the existing pedestrian subway.
Civil and track work between Washermenpet and Central Metro stations are nearing completion and installation of signal systems have begun.
U Tejonmayam, The Times of India, Chennai
Over 800 properties identified for land acquisition to construct Chennai metro phase-2
Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has listed more than 800 property owners to whom notices will be issued for acquisition of land required to build 48 stations planned in the ambitious 107.55km phase-2.
Notices have been issued to nearly 410 owners who have properties along the alignment planned for 19 stations.
They include people living close to Madhavaram, Perumbur, Otteri, Sembium, Chetpet, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Gemini and Purasaiwalkam. The land required in these areas will be used for building the stations as well as a maintenance yard at Madhavaram.
CMRL would issue 400 more notices to property owners in the coming days, officials said.
‘As a start, land acquisition work is underway for corridor 3 and 5. Paperwork for corridor 4 will begin next month,” the official said.
Phase-2 project has three corridors. Corridor 3 will link Madhavaram to Siruseri SIPCOT via the IT hub along the OMR and corridor 5 will connect Madhavaram to Sholinganallur through localities on the western part of the city. Corridor-4, which will link the core areas of the city from Light House to CMBT, will be extended to Poonamallee.
U Tejonmayam, Economic Times, Chennai
Property registrations in Tamil Nadu may no longer be facilitated without Aadhaar card as the state government is mandating the 12-digit unique identification number for the purpose. The move stems out of a recent fraud involving creation of forged Power of Attorney (PoA) for a plot worth Rs 4 crore at Madhavaram of a city-based resident currently residing overseas using impersonated identity proof with the alleged connivance of the sub-registrar.
Registration department officials told TOI a proposal has been sent to the government to make Aadhaar card compulsory for land registrations. “Once Aadhaar is mandated, people should provide their Aadhaar card as an identification proof. Our biometric devices would be linked to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) central server to authenticate that the seller is the real owner of the property,” a registration official said.
It is learned that the proposal is in the advanced stage with the government as it has to amend the Tamil Nadu Registration Rules to make authentication through Aadhaar card for land registrations. Registration department sources said that mandating Aadhaar would help eradicate fraudulent registrations.
According to data available with the state government, Tamil Nadu has a 95% Aadhaar coverage. Of the 7.65 lakh population in the state, 7.27 lakh have Aadhaar cards. “In the cases, where people do not have Aadhaar cards, the procedures of the UIDAI would be followed to facilitate the registrations,” the source said.
In a recent case of fraudulent registration at Madhavaram sub-registrar office, a fake document was created in the name of the original owner of the 4,200 square feet vacant plot such that she has given the PoA to another person. “The forged PoA came to light when encumbrance certificate was applied to sell the property, whose market value is worth Rs 4 crore,” the official added. The case is under central crime branch police for investigation and an FIR has been registered, in which four persons, including George, the sub-registrar of Madhavaram, have been named as accused.
Yogesh Kabirdoss, The Times of India, Chennai