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Want to live in Goa? This tiny village next to river Mapusa is truly idyllic

Want to live in Goa? This tiny village next to river Mapusa is truly idyllic

The pandemic has fuelled the demand for Goan properties like never before. While prices are shooting up fast, new destinations for luxury property too are emerging; Moira in North Goa for instance.

Untouched Moira is fast emerging as a luxury property destination in Goa Untouched Moira is fast emerging as a luxury property destination in Goa

Silver years by the Goan sunset is perhaps the most common retirement dream among city-weary Indians – and responding to the new demand, the Goan property market is foraying into new untouched places for development. People are also ready to pay a premium to live close to hitherto pristine natural settings – a reason perhaps for which the rural Goan set-ups are becoming hotspots for luxury property. One such location is Moira – a tiny village in North Goa. The prices in these ‘just discovered’ locations are on a fast rise as well.

Property development in Goa was so far concentrated in Candolim, Arpora - Anjuna - Vagator – Siolim. Assagao and Aldona joined the list some time ago and recently Moira, a quaint village by river Mapusa is where property development is concentrated. Moira has traditionally been popular for a banana crop typical to it. The village in located in the Bardez Taluka of North Goa.

The reason prices of upcoming property in this Bardez hamlet are on the rise is due its location advantage, claim realtors. “Moira is popular as a residential hub because of its location. It is located 10 minutes from the markets and 20 minutes away from the tourist belts. Also it is about half an hour away from the capital city, Panjim. The upcoming airport at Mopa will be located 40 minutes from this village as well. The Moira ecosystem already comprises rivers, farmland, and heritage Portuguese houses around the vicinity. All these factors are now converging to push up property prices in the semi-urban spot,” Lincoln Bennet Rodrigues, Chairman, Bennet and Bernard Company told Business Today.

Moira luxury homes

The dreaminess of its topography with coconut groves and churches dotting lush fields by the flowing Mapusa is perhaps the reason buyers are willing to shell out. Prices in the region have shot up rapidly in three years. While property prices in 2019 were around Rs12,000-Rs15,000 per sqm, they have now shot to Rs 18,000-Rs 26,000 per sqm. South Goa prices in general currently range between Rs 15,000-45,000 sqm. North Goa land prices currently are in the range of Rs 18,000-Rs 55,000sqm. The current hubs of real estate growth in North Goa are currently Moira and Aldona. The South Goa growth hubs are – Cavelossim and Varca.

Instead of building fresh houses ground up, there could be more value in repurposing old Goan heritage properties for the retail market, suggests Heta Pandit, Vice Chairperson, Goa Heritage Action Group. She told Business Today, “It just makes more economic sense to repurpose heritage houses and turn them into vibrant, economically viable hubs. It has a two-fold benefit. One, it recycles old material so it is good for the environment. Two, it preserves the collective memory of the artists, artisans, and homeowners who have put their intellect to good use and built climatically suitable homes and workspaces. When this eco-logic will sink into commercial builders' minds, we don't know. But, it is already making sense to a lot of artists, designers, and creative new settlers, in Moira especially. I can see it becoming a new age trend!”

However, those who purchased their second homes or made luxury investments in Goa claim they have made no mistake while making their investments. “My home now keeps pulling me to Goa and I can’t find enough reasons to stay away for long,” said Mahima Shenoy, a buyer who has recently invested in a Moira luxury property. Prices in Goa are shooting up than before and available data from local realtors shows that the hike on average has been around 30 per cent annually. Also, prices in North Goa have been escalating faster than that in South Goa.

Mapusa river flowing by Moira

Why is Goa as a destination rising on the popularity charts?

The pandemic-induced work-from-home scenario has increased the popularity of Goa as a realty destination. Another reason for the growth spurt has been an increase in access to the internet over a year. “In our Luxury Outlook Report 2022, Goa emerged right by the side of Delhi and Mumbai as the markets to watch out for in 2022. We currently have two bespoke luxury home listings in the Goa cluster. Three villas by Inaaya Living - Cotton House, Macassar House, and Cinnabar House, and Luxury resort villas by Lalit Hotels in Canacona. What's made investing in Goa even more lucrative is the emergence of tech-enabled villa and apartment aggregators.  Your property in Goa can easily be rented out through an online aggregator. There are plenty of reputed villa management companies who also look after the property while the family is not using it. This ensures that one also has the potential to earn a decent rental return while owning the property,” Samir Saran, Managing Partner, India Sotheby’s International Realty said.

But as Goa properties continue to witness price appreciation, planning a retirement in Goa could increasingly become out of reach.  Nilesh Salkar, President CREDAI – Goa told Business Today, “There was a time when people would leave sell their property in other metro cities, buy a Goa house with part of the money and live off the rest of money – that sort of a retirement plan is no longer going to be possible in Goa because property prices are increasing rapidly and retiring in Goa would actually become a much more expensive budget than before.”