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Home Buyers Investing In Second Homes In Non-Metro Cities As Holiday Homes

Strategic location within a few-hour drive from cities, state-of-the-art amenities such as gymnasium, spa, swimming pool, etc., and innovative tech-driven experiences are hallmarks of these homes.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has given a new lease of life to the concept of a holiday home or a second home. With most of the corporate professionals working from home, geography is no longer a constraint. The need for segregation between work and personal life has fueled the concept of a weekend retreat in a holiday home. ‘Workcation’- the concept of working remotely from any picturesque travel destination amid extended work from home is also gaining currency as corporate professionals are looking to escape the monotonous routine at home. The demand for these holiday homes is driven by High Net-Worth Individuals (HNIs), expatriates, Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and C-suite corporate professionals who consider it as a form of social mobility and an attractive investment asset.

The dream of owning a second home within salubrious greenery has been an integral part of Indian ethos. The overall health, hygiene and wellness concerns during COVID-19 has pivoted the focus towards spacious holiday homes set amid verdant greenery, away from densely packed Tier 1 cities. Such homes located far from the hustle-bustle of cities enable individuals to truly rejuvenate and unwind in tranquility at their property, unlike hotels and resorts.

Furthermore, with competitive prices being offered by developers and low-interest rates on home loans, non-metros have become a preferred choice of investment for second home buyers. This is gradually attracting even the travel-savvy upper-middle-class, who earlier enjoyed annual holidays but can no longer opt for it due to travel restrictions. Buyers are considering option starting from plots where they can design and develop homes as per their need, to ready to move in condominiums, villas and floors, depending on their needs and budget. The benefits accruing due to COVID-19 come with built-in validity that has triggered a sense of immediacy among buyers to consider a holiday home.

Strategic location within a few-hour drive from cities, state-of-the-art amenities such as gymnasium, spa, swimming pool, etc., and innovative tech-driven experiences are hallmarks of these homes. The strategic location allows buyers to meet day-to-day requirements due to good connectivity and a robust social infrastructure. For residents in Delhi NCR, nearby places such as New Chandigarh, Panchkula, Kasauli, and Shimla have emerged as sought-after destinations for holiday homes.

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, 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.

However, buyers must be cautious and consider several factors while buying a second home. While strategic location, good connectivity and accessibility and world-class amenities are the predominant criteria, buyers also consider other factors such as lifestyle quotient and curated experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic has invariably pivoted the focus towards organized real estate due to their ability to adhere to standard hygiene and wellness measures. Hence developers with an excellent track record of delivery and sound credentials are likely to maintain a competitive edge in the market. With the festive season approaching, consumers will likely evaluate offerings from the perspective of value-added services such as free parking space, waiver on maintenance charge for a limited time, and many more. COVID-19 has also accelerated the deployment of next-generation technologies that have subsequently fuelled the demand for smart and automated homes. Amid sustainability gaining a new currency in this unprecedented time, large open spaces such as balcony decks with lush greenery and biophilic designs are increasingly being preferred by home-buyers.

Riding on the wave of sustainability and prospective investment, the holiday home has emerged as a sought-after option for the segment of buyers whose jobs and lifestyle quotient have remained unaffected in the wake of pay cuts.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Karan Kumar DLF

The author is the Chief Marketing Officer at DLF Limited,

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