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Service Apartments in India

As real estate reaches a new height in India, there are emerging trends in the realty sector to attract investors and create a more competitive market. But it has of course become a blessing in disguise for the investors, who are the beneficiaries as the developers and others in the business compete for a share of the realty pie.

The Indian real estate market offers a variety to suit different tastes and pockets. Typically, it could be a fully furnished and well equipped studio rooms, one, two and three bedroom service apartment or an apartment-style hotel room. One of the latest but positive inclusions in the realty business is - SERVICE APARTMENTS which are now increasingly becoming the preferred choice for those looking for a ‘home away from home’.

Service apartment is a type of furnished apartment that meets all kinds of short term and long term accommodation needs of individuals, corporate houses and MNCs with quality living. Elegant, contemporary, tastefully done, it is equipped to decent standards in the facilities it provides. Amenities include round-the-clock security, power backup, leisure activities, housekeeping services, home appliances, kitchen needs, toilet accessories, laundry, telephone, refrigerator, internet, worktable, and attached bathroom and so on. The feeling that one is in the private space of home and indulging in hotel service is given shape here.

Service apartment is the preferred choice of people from a new culture and setting and expats as it never lets them compromise on their lifestyle. It saves them the hassles of shifting in a rented home, paying exorbitant hotel room rates. Besides, it affords them ample opportunity to add their own touch to the place, have a feeling of community and ownership.

The trend of selling service apartments the new concept in real estate has really caught on in India. The most viable and coveted cities for commercial property investments like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, and Jaipur have seen a sudden spurt in  service apartment projects complete with Vaastu norms.

While hotels offer cost advantages in the superior facilities they are able to provide, the cost of a service apartment too is interesting. It can vary from Rs. 7000 a month to over a lakh a month for a well equipped 3 bedroom apartment with all the amenities including a swimming pool, gymkhana, a garden and much more.

The tariff charge for service apartments depend on the length of the stay. Though it is economical for a prolonged stay, it is advisable that while booking one is aware about what charges are   inclusive and what are exclusive. Online booking on interactive web portals offer the ensuring that one could stay within the budget and even take advantage of discount reservation service.

Hoteliers and prominent builders and individuals see huge potential in the market due to the increasing demand for short term housing for Multinational Companies, for business travelers on extended stay and the escalating traffic to India for recreational travel. With more investments flowing in due to the projected growth path of the Indian economy, and increasing trend of domestic leisure travel; it is hoped that people or families may like to rent service apartments rather than stay at hotels, particularly in destinations such as Goa. Tier II and Tier III cities will also be a part of the loop.

Seeing the potential of the business of service apartments, many real estate developers are hoping to invest on development of service apartments and then leasing them out. Serviced apartments usually have better occupancy rates than hotels. The occupancy rates in the service apartment category stood at a good 74 per cent in 2005-06, and are expected to grow.

Taj Hotels, DLF, Singapore based Ascott Hotels and Resorts, Sarovar Group; prominent names in the hospitality sector plan to catapult the idea of service apartments to the centre of the real estate industry. It is predicted that what will work for the new players in the market in sharing the boom will be quality of services offered in terms of cost and accessibility to distant destinations.

Serviced apartments are also being seen as a lucrative investment option for the high level of efficiency and high profit margins. The growth in key sectors like IT, BPO, manufacturing and tourism has also propelled the bullish temper of the trend of service apartments in India.

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