10th January 2017 - Laburnum - A trip down memory lane
I recently visited Laburnum on a client meeting a couple of days back. For those of you who don't know about laburnum it's an established high end residential complex situated in the heart of Sushant lok 1, Gurgaon that's been around for over fifteen years.
Apartments are sized at 3300 3800 sq. ft. (3 and 4 B/R) and there are villas with a super area of 5000 sq. ft. and one block consisting of centrally air conditioned studio apartments. Back in 2006 2008 apartments were in high demand at the laburnum as it was The' premium end segment complex in Gurgaon boasting of high profile corporate crowd (which it still is host to today perhaps more on tenancy percentage than earlier).
A large number of flats have been renovated by owners for self-use and some for tenancy purposes as specifications are dated compared to newer high end complexes today.
What remains as the very soul of laburnum is the nice peaceful ambience that it has always had coupled with the fact that it is one of the only low-rise complexes left in Gurgaon today with the 4 B/R towers (Court Greens at 4-5 floors only) and ofcourse the 3 B/R towers (terrace heights) go higher.
Penthouses are around 5000 7000 sq. ft. in size in duplex and single level variants. My first deal was at Laburnum where we assisted a Michelin expat in taking up a villa on rent in Laburnum. Those days villas were high in demand and no other complexes had premium end villas (that is before World Spa and Palm Springs came up on the horizon). I remember sitting at nirvana the small coffeeshop / eatery within the complex prior or for client meetings as well as the Diwali parties every year by the pool as we also owned a unit there at the time.
The likes of top level Microsoft, Google and Cairn expats and well placed Indian executives had a number of apartments on rent at Laburnum though many have moved base to world spa and magnolias in trending with higher apartment specifications, larger apartment sizes, better club-house facilities making for an improved lifestyle experience in these complexes. There are a large number of owners who moved from laburnum to world spa.
In terms of capital rates Laburnum has seen somewhat of an erosion in the last few years owing to the reasons mentioned above and the down-market cycle. Rentals also had taken a hit more so than that capital rates owing to the large number of options that prospective tenants have these-days.
Yet, there are many owners who still swear by the complex and the brand value that it brings to the table. Tough to see where prices go for laburnum in terms of capital rates given that complexes seem to have a shelf life and an investment horizon. They may dip somewhat before regaining momentum in line with the market during the next boom.
It was nice visiting the complex after a while.. Happy memories!!
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