Business Today

In Search Of A Second Home

HNIs are keen to buy weekend retreats and put a premium on privacy, exclusivity and abundance of space
Amit Goyal   New Delhi     Print Edition: October 20, 2019
In Search Of A Second Home

Your best life begins with a home that inspires you. Most of us go home after a busy day to recharge and relax. Hence, there is no greater luxury than owning a beautiful home that inspires us. And this is true for our second homes as well.

Interestingly, the concept of holiday homes has grown rapidly over the past few years. More and more people are looking at buying plush vacation homes because these are good investments, double up as prestige properties and help homeowners hit the refresh button after hectic city life. High networth individuals (HNIs) are especially keen on buying weekend retreats and put a premium on privacy, exclusivity and abundance of space. Their second homes vary from large farmhouses in and around metros to hill retreats or beach-front properties. Equally popular are residences exclusively designed by famed designers and architects.

Second-home destinations vary as well. Popular local destinations include easily accessible getaways such as Goa, Alibaug, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar and the likes across the Western Ghats. There are some great options in Alibaug such as the L'Hermitage villas, a luxury development by Aditya Kilachand and interior designer Susanne Khan. These are tranquil homes in the heart of lush environment and come with the additional 'designer interiors' tag, a 'must-have' for luxury buyers today. For the Southern market, Goa is equally popular, besides hill stations such as Coorg (home to coffee estates) and beach towns such as Cochin. The foothills of the Himalayas and the farm country of Northern India are other coveted destinations.

Indians are quite willing to spend a little extra to have an immersive experience of a location. Exclusive properties, including private villas, bungalows and cottages, are attracting buyers, thanks to the rise in people's aspirations

According to a report by Kotak Wealth Management, the number of HNIs, with assets worth $50 million and above, is set to double by 2022. So, it is not surprising that Indians have set their sights on foreign shores in search of second homes. Most popular global destinations happen to be an interesting mix of Asian and European countries such as Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal, with widely varying aesthetics and investment models. A recent PwC report also estimates that India's economy is set to go past the US by 2050 in PPP (purchasing power parity) terms and will be second in this ranking.

One can attribute this trend to the growing self-confidence, expanding consumerism, increased spending power and greater access and exposure to luxury services and experiences across the globe. Indians today are quite willing to spend a little extra to have an immersive experience of a location. And exclusive properties, including private villas, bungalows and cottages, are attracting buyers, thanks to the rise in people's aspirations. Add to that the host of facilities offered by the hospitality and tourism sectors, and it is easy to understand why these buyers are keen to acquire vacation or second homes.

New flight connections and improved communications have also catered to the trend as Indians continue to invest in villas and condominiums in destinations such as Sri Lanka and Phuket (Thailand). There is a lot of interest in serviced villas. Some seafront luxury condos and villas also offer loyalty programmes, translating into privileges and stays at resorts around the world, over and above the luxury facilities on the base properties.

The writer is CEO at India Sotheby's International Realty

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