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Second homes priced from 50 lakh to 50 crore are seeing a pick-up in demand from wealthy individuals—including tech entrepreneurs, corporate professionals and non-resident Indians (NRIs) —as they look to get away from cities amid the pandemic.

Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd (TRIL), DLF Ltd, Isprava, and others are seeing a demand for larger individual homes—with office space—at higher budgets, both for individual use and investment, in Goa, Kasauli, Coonoor, Alibaug and other ‘away from the city’ locations.

TRIL has sold off the stock in Phase 1 of its luxury villa project ‘Myst’ in Kasauli and launched the second phase in April. In its project ‘Prive’ in Lonavla, it has sold homes priced at 4-6 crore over the last year. In Goa, where apartments are priced at sub- 1 crore, only a few units are left. “Second homes are witnessing an all-time high demand. People are looking at buying not just in India, but also in Dubai and London. NRI demand for such homes in India has picked up primarily for investment purposes. Most of the second home inventory we sold was ready to move in," said Sanjay Dutt, managing director (MD), TRIL.

Luxury lifestyle developer Isprava, which sells fully furnished ready-to-move homes between 5 crore and 50 crore, has seen a 30-50% increase in ticket size as people seek larger living spaces with an office. “Before covid, the ultra-rich travelled extensively, but now everyone has realized the importance of having a secondary or semi-primary home within the country where you can reach easily. There was always strong demand, but the pandemic acted as a catalyst. People realized work-from-home is doable and one can actually work out of Goa or Alibaug or Coonoor for extended periods of time," said Dhimaan Shah, founder and chief operating officer, Isprava.

Shah said buyers who would have spent 6-7 crore on a home are now buying properties worth 10-11 crore.

“There are also several clients who are purchasing big-ticket homes ( 20 crore and upwards) with us in Goa and Alibaug while renting in their primary cities of residence because rental yields are so low in the metros. We are seeing a clear trend towards a younger demographic (30-45 years of age) purchasing homes with us," he added.

Isprava is also entering Kasauli as a new location for secondary homes.

In August, property advisory Savills is hosting an online Goa festival, a curated show of hand-picked villa developments, resale inventory, and apartments for interested buyers from across the country.

Shveta Jain, MD, residential services at Savills India said there is definitely rising interest in owning or leasing a second home following the covid outbreak. “Places like Goa, which have seen active real estate development, are no more just a second home destination. Homebuyers are looking for housing options across the country. Potential homebuyers from Mumbai or NRIs are seeking to buy in Kasauli or Uttarakhand and the same is true for people in other parts of the country," she said.

“Depending on the affordability, such properties also provide homeowners another source of income. In terms of demand, gated developments, and independent homes of around 3,000-4,000 square feet on large land parcels are top choices. The preferences are for villas in the price range of 1-3 crore or for premium residences of 5-11 crore," Jain added.

The pandemic has altered both homebuyers’ preferences and developers’ strategies. People are seeking stable assets and those who can afford it prefer to have bigger spaces.

“We witnessed strong demand for properties that can serve as catch-all compounds and live-work spaces. Suburbs of metros and Tier II and III cities have emerged as the new locus for real estate. We have seen a phenomenal increase in inquiries and sales from micro markets like Indore, Panchkula, Kasauli, Lucknow, and Kochi in Q3 and Q4 of FY21. We are also getting inquiries from customers in metros who are looking to relocate, and from NRIs who want to buy a home for their families," said a DLF spokesperson.

Samavana I, a premium residential and plotted project by DLF in Kasauli, has seen a rise in interest from homebuyers since the onset of the pandemic, especially buyers from the National Capital Region.

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