Second homes or holiday homes have generally seen a steady demand in weekend locations away from the city limits, as well as popular tourist destinations. While the concept started with owning a house and making weekend visits, it has seen gradual evolution into the happy healthy place preferred by its set of buyers for rejuvenating in a cleaner environment. Today, developers are building second homes or holiday homes with lucrative rent-back schemes, wherein assured rents are promised to the owners, along with a certain number of stays as per the requirement of the owner.
Usually, hills and seafronts are preferred as a location for these homes. Locations around Delhi/NCR that are being explored for such homes are Dehradun, Nanital, Haridwar-Rishikesh, Mathura-Vrindavan. It has been noticed that projects offering apartments in Goa have also witnessed demand from Delhi buyers in the recent past.
Real experts feel that as this is more of a lifestyle decision, going for a holiday home need not be linked only by the market situation but also with the opportunity being offered. If a prime/ attractive location is being offered at an economical rate, and it meets the buyers’ requirements, a holiday home would be bought irrespective of the market condition.
Commenting on the same, Mr. Prateek Mittal, Executive Director, Sushma Group says, “Post-COVID, the demand for second home/holiday homes has increased as people are inclined towards healthy living. Buyers are seeking options in the peaceful places especially in the hills with lower air quality index where they can enjoy nature far away from the hectic schedules and maddening crowds of the cities. People are looking for places that can provide them with a perfect place to re-energise themselves every now and then to get back to their lives.”
Many religious places have witnessed large scale development though there has even been limited development of residential projects potentially targeting outsiders. In the last few years, developers across India have been eyeing religious locations. In Northern India, locations like Haridwar, Varanasi, Ayodhya – Rishikesh belt and Mathura – Vrindavan belt is being tapped by developers.
While demand for these homes is driven primarily by high net worth individuals, the upper-middle section of the society is also increasingly joining the bandwagon. “People going for a second home or a holiday home are looking for an abode that lets them unwind from their hectic urban lifestyle. The upper-middle class looking for such homes would be investing in second homes only when they get convenient facilities, serene surroundings, ideal location with good connectivity and a branded developer’s promise who has been known for delivering a wide range of such projects.”, says Mr. Nagaraju Routhu, CEO, Hero Realty.
The economic and real estate scenario in India, at present, are favorable for an investor to buy a second home. This primarily can be factored on two fronts. Firstly, post-pandemic, the economy is on course to recover from the negative impacts it witnessed during the lockdown. The liquidity position is improving, home loan interest rates are lower, and economic growth projections look firm. Secondly, as the market for second homes is still in its nascent stages, and demand is not as high as it was anticipated, property prices in this segment are still in an affordable bracket.
Mr. Ankit Kansal, MD and CEO, 360 realtors, a Property consultancy firm said, “Investors and buyers are more cautious now, and are looking at the key parameters such as demand-supply trend, second homes being such a niche segment need an altogether different approach in reaching out to buyers. Only buyers with enough spare capital are likely to undertake such investment or sellers should be able to provide unique and stable investment solutions, returns in an attractive location.”
Many developers have tried to sell a holiday home concept in these places, but most of the demand for housing comes from the local service class individuals working in and around the region. Besides these, retired individuals who want to have a peaceful and spiritual life post their retirement prefer buying such apartments. So not much of investment activity is witnessed by individuals from far off locations. Travel to religious destinations has only increased due to higher mobility and improved economic conditions in India, but its impact has mainly been felt by increasing the number of hotels in such locations.
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