Growing demand for second homes around Mumbai, India

September 14, 2012 / By  

Despite the global economic slowdown, the second home market in India seems to be thriving healthily on account of multiple driving factors. Increasing density within city limits has resulted in scenic areas losing their charm and is making it increasingly difficult to obtain a lifestyle of leisure. The high cost of real estate in cities is another main reason second homes or holiday homes at comfortable driving distances from India’s cities are becoming popular. Mumbai and, to a certain extent, Pune are classic cases of this activity.

While Mumbai city is the principal generator of this demand, adjoining locations, such as Lonavala, Matheran, Rewas-Alibaug-Kashid and Karjat, offer a wide range of leisure homes. Rewas-Alibaug-Kashid, or the RAK Region, is superior to the other traditional vacation destinations, primarily on two major fronts – its abundant beaches and excellent connectivity to the financial capital of India across Mumbai Harbour – which attract buyers seeking a relaxing environment and a good investment option.

India’s affluent class has experienced enhanced global exposure, which has caused the increased desire for a holiday experience that is up to international standards. However, due to the scarce availability of suitable land in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, there has been an emergence of vacation areas within a two-hour drive from the city.

The other places close to Pune, such as Lonavla, Khandala and Panchgani, are also witnessing robust demand for second homes and have simultaneously become more popular locations for second homes and investment. Areas close to other prominent cities, such as Nashik and Aurangabad, have not yet emerged, as these cities have yet to attain much wealth and are not under pressure from density. However, developers have already started creating land banks, and it is merely a matter of time before several cities with more than a million people have their own weekend vacation spots.

Traditionally the clientele of the second home market comprises high net worth individuals. However, with the improved standard of living and growing incomes over the past decade, India’s upper-middle class has also become active in purchasing second-homes.

A variety of second home options, which service a wide range of budgets, have led to a growing second home economy. One can buy a home for a price as low as INR 2,500,000 or as expensive as INR 50 million.

Faced with an improved but hectic lifestyle, people are looking for a home, which is away from the clamour of the city and provides an environment of relaxation. Even corporate offices have opted to conduct various seminars or workshops for their employees in these vacation areas, which can be used as learning and training centres as well as for relaxation. While writing this, the last stanza of Hattie Howard’s poem came to mind. It reflects my wishes for holiday home buyers.

Be blessedness theirs, who like knights of renown
Thus scatter such largesse o’er country and town,
Their monument building in many a dome
Like healthful and beautiful holiday home

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