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Demand for second home sees a surge amid pandemic

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Real estate developers are witnessing greater demand for plots and independent houses that are within 4-5 hours of driving distance from metro cities as the Covid-induced lockdown forced people to think about a second home.

With prices as low as Rs 12 lakh, people are investing in Haridwar, Dehradun, Rishikesh, and towns like Shimla and Solan in Himachal Pradeshand Dapoli, a coastal city which is a five-hour drive away from Mumbai and Pune.

“People are going for a second home or a holiday home that lets them unwind from their hectic urban lifestyle,” said Nagaraju Routhu, CEO at Hero Realty.

While demand for these homes is driven primarily by high net worth individuals, the low prices have also attracted the middle-class buyers.

Xanadu Realty, which got the mandate to sell 75 acres acquired at Dapoli, Maharashtra, by the House of Abhinandan Lodha, said most of the plots were sold after lifting of lockdown and they were in the process to identify more such land parcels as demand has shot up.

“Dapoli is a coastal city and easily accessible. During the Covid, people have realised the need of a house away from the city. With less prices, more people are inclined to buy land,” said VikasChaturvedi, CEO at Xanadu realty.

Xanadu managed to sell about 3.6 million sq ft (1,462 units) worth Rs 150 crore post unlock.

“Aspiration of owning land has always been at the heart of the Indian consumer but traditionally, land buying has a lot of variables to it. Branded land brings trust and transparency in the land transactions. Trust and transparency will ensure buying land will see a surge in demand, both from end users and investors,” said Chaturvedi.

Hero Realty is also selling plots in Haridwar at a gated township and said most of the demand is coming from people living in Delhi-NCR.

Basic Homeloan, a digital platform dealing in loans for affordable housing, also said that a lot of demand is now coming from tier-2 cities, which are not very far from metro cities.

“Most of the cities, which are a few hours away from metro cities, are witnessing good demand. Almost 30-40% of our loan disbursal is for plots and most of them are buying it for their own consumption,” said Atul Monga, co-founder and CEO of Basic Home Loan.

Near NCR, Rishikesh, Dehradun and Haridwar are witnessing good demand while those ready to invest around Rs 1 crore are buying holiday homes in the hills of Himachal.

“We are witnessing an increased number of enquiries for our projects in Dehradun—SikkaKimaya Greens and Sikka Kingston Greens—from people coming from metro cities, especially Delhi-NCR,” said Harvinder Singh Sikka, MD at SikkaGroup.

Even people from Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad are looking for plots and good quality flats in Himachal.

“We have seen a wave of new buyers and investors in Himachal after Covid-19 crisis. Earlier, it was people from northern states who approached us but we are now getting enquiries from Maharashtraand Gujarat as well,” said Sudershan Singla of Impact Enterprises, which is building two gated projects in Shimla and Solan.

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