COVID And How It Gave a Push To Luxury Second Homes As many companies are ready to extend work from home option, it has given a chance to many buyers to choose a place and work with ease and fewer disturbances

By Ram Raheja

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The global pandemic has changed the way we work and live. It has led to renewed interest in second homes. The hope of owning a second home within peaceful green surroundings has been an avenue of interest to most Indians. Short breaks from busy life, rental income, city life or eventual retirements were the previous aspirations. The COVID-19 outbreak has given rise to the more urgent motivation: the safety of families from the infection.

As many companies are ready to extend work from home option, it has given a chance to many buyers to choose a place and work with ease and fewer disturbances. Given the pandemic, everyone is concerned about their jobs, livelihood and health. People prefer to rent a holiday home than paying for small hotel rooms. This has also driven the force from the investment perspective. Second homes in non-metro cities are a relatively safe investment class with higher capital appreciation compared to homes in metros, especially during COVID-19, when alternative classes such as mutual funds and shares have seen diminishing returns. These properties can be rented out to home-stays and tourism businesses, a booming market promising an assured and stable source of income to investors.

Competitive prices and offers provided by the luxury developers and various benefits given by government over loans and tax to the buyers have made non-metros a preferred choice for investing in second homes. This has gradually attracted the travel-savvy class of people who earlier enjoyed annual holidays but can no longer opt for it due to travel restrictions. Buyers are more over interested in plots wherein they can design and develop homes as per their aspirations and demand to ready-to-move-in condominiums, villas and floors, depending on their needs and budget. The benefits accruing due to COVID-19 comes with built-in validity that has triggered a sense of immediacy among buyers to consider a holiday home.

This pandemic has reinforced the importance for financial security and people are considering the merit in purchasing real estate assets. No matter what, aspirations always have a value, hence not just high-end buyers but every aspiring homebuyer is looking for an upgrade keeping in mind the needs of their family members. This pandemic has grown the sense of togetherness in customers hence, the demand for spacious luxury homes have seen a boost. Not just buyers but investors too are looking at luxury market as a best investment hook in many ways.

Another major factor that has played an important role is the need to have a safe getaway in times of crisis. With the pandemic leading to a nationwide lockdown for month together, the need for owning a home and even a vacation home gained importance. This led to the emergence of many takers for well-located and intelligently designed second homes.

Basis reports by leading bodies and IPCs the buyer from the luxury segment has not been impacted much by the pandemic. In addition, lowered interest rates, reduced stamp duty and registration charges in many states, have been incentives for this segment of buyers to park their money in real estate. In addition to homes in the city, second homes for personal use as well as for investments to earn rental yield have seen increased interest from HNIs as well as NRIs.

As luxury second homes are seeing a rise in demand, the segment has witnessed various trends that have probably given a new structure and outlook to it. Trends that are been applied in real estate have also seen reflecting onto second homes, due to its growing dependability and living tenure. Second homes are also looked as a home where we can take not just family but also our friends to get some distinct time; hence spacious houses are sought by buyers. Many buyers seek an organic area, where they can grow and nurture their own farm to grow organic produce given the increased emphasis on sustainable living.

Hence there is great scope for developers to build projects that cater to the current need for second homes. Location remains very important. Connectivity, ambience, surroundings and amenities all play a crucial role. The design and execution of the project: right from the exterior, architectural planning, to the interiors are of utmost importance to a buyer investing large sums of money.
Ram Raheja

Director, S Raheja Realty

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