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Work from home, travel ban, safer getaway - why second homes are in demand

If one can afford, the market is offering rock-bottom property prices currently. This coupled with lower home loan interest rates, reduction in stamps and registration duties in many states and the extended work-from-home option makes for an opportune time to pick a second home

Rukmini Rao | September 10, 2020 | Updated 19:28 IST
Work from home, travel ban, safer getaway - why second homes are in demand
COVID-19 outbreak has given rise to the need of a relatively safer from infection homes away from the urban hotspots

The real estate space has been slowly picking up pace since the unlockdown started in early June. Due to ban on travel and fear of the pandemic leaving a deeper impression on urban homeowners, second-home housing market is also seeing good traction. While short breaks from the city life, rental income or retirement home were hitherto key reasons for buying a second home, the COVID-19 outbreak has given rise to the need of a relatively safer from infection homes away from the urban hotspots. "With construction activity picking up, homebuyers are more conscious now to invest in a property with assured safety, to live a sustainable life. The rise in the housing demand for Tier-II cities can be seen because of affordability and better growth prospects," said Ashish Sarin, CEO, AlphaCorp.

If one can afford, the market is offering rock-bottom property prices currently. This coupled with lower home loan interest rates, reduction in stamps and registration duties in many states and the extended work-from-home option makes for an opportune time to pick a second home. "Second-home buyers are no longer considering rental income and future appreciation, for which the outlook continues to be dim over the next few years. Their focus is on leveraging the lower property prices in such locations to get bigger homes in greener and safer surroundings," said Santhosh Kumar, Vice Chairman, Anarock property consultants. He further said that HNIs (high networth individuals) prefer a luxury second home at a commutable distance from their primary home.

In the housing market while the new launches are being marketed at lower rates, older, ready-to-move-in homes (RTM) are commanding a higher rate. According to Anarock, the average prices in major middle-class-favoured second home destinations around the top cities range anywhere between Rs 3,000-12,000 per sq. ft. Depending on the buyers' ability, the average area of these homes usually begins at 2,500 sq. ft. and can extend to Rs 10,000 sq. ft.  "Homebuyers do not want to wait indefinitely for completion of under construction homes," Ankush Kaul, President (Sales & Marketing) Ambience Group says.

In the southern market in Bengaluru, the emerging hotspots for second homes include Nandi Hills and Jigani area near Bannerghatta National Park, in Chennai Mahabalipuram and Kovalam Main Road on ECR with beach-front properties are the hot favourites for second homes. In West while Alibaug, Karjat , Lonavala , Lavasa and Goa are preferred locations, in the NCR region, farmhouses at Chhattarpur, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road are preferred choices.

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