The city’s rich and famous as well as high net worth individuals (HNIs) in the country are flocking to invest in sprawling second homes or ‘country estates’ on the outskirts of Bangalore.
Much of the buying is actually happening in Hosur district of Tamil Nadu, about 15 to 20 kilometers from the IT hubs of Bangalore. In Tamil Nadu, agricultural land can be bought by non-agriculturalists, unlike in Karnataka where non-agriculturalists aren’t allowed to invest in agricultural land unless the land has been converted.
The world over, HNIs have stamped their preference for specific locations to build second homes and over the years these locations have developed a certain snob value. In New York, many HNIs have seaside homes in The Hamptons, while many rich Britons have second homes on the Spanish coast. In Mumbai, the rich and famous have a penchant for seaside mansions in Alibaug, while in the Capital the preference is for Lutyens Delhi.
And then you have individuals like Mark Zuckerberg , Larry Page, Tom Cruise, and Steve Ballmer who own country estates, homes of 17,000 sqft to 52,000 sqft in size situated on acres of land. Bill Gates and Michael Dell are said to own larger estates .
On the outskirts of Bangalore , in the vicinity of Sarjapur village near the Karnataka border, the country estate culture seems to ape the preferences of the American billionaires. Niche developers are targeting HNIs with one-acre land parcels and estate homes ranging in size from 15,000 sqft to 50,000 sqft.
“Country estates are for people who have `arrived’ in life, who don’t have to swipe the attendance recorder at 9:30 am, who want to get away from the city as often as they can,” says Asipac, a real estate consultancy and marketing firm.
Founder of real estate consultancy firm Crorepati Homes, estimates that there are between 100 and 150 HNI estates in Hosur district of Tamil Nadu, which are largely owned by Bangalore-based (dollar) millionaires . “Now, HNIs from across India are looking for second homes in this belt,”.
Among the well-established gated estate projects in the area, offers 1-acre plots and has a resident list that includes the top IT millionaires of Bangalore. The project, which has approximately 40 functional estates , houses the country estate of the promoter family of Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.
In the same vicinity, Richard Rekhy, CEO of KPMG India, and Deepak Verma, former MD of WorldSpace Radio, have bought home in a niche project. The project consists of 35 country estates with average plot size of 0.58 acres and estates sized between 13,718 sqft and 56,284 sqft. Prices of the units range between Rs 3.5 crore and Rs 8 crore.
“The land price here is less than 10% of what you would pay in Indiranagar or Koramangala. Besides, it is not possible to afford a half-acre home within city limits,” says Bagaria, whose company is marketing.