An ideal investment avenue
Source: Daily News & Analysis
The trend of buying 'second' homes or weekend getaways in Mumbai's peripheral areas and beyond has been gaining ground in recent years. With rising real estate prices in the prime areas, such projects provide a good opportunity for investment. At the same time, they also serve as good escape routes from the hustle and bustle of the routine, mundane life. For Mumbaikars who are mostly used to compact flats, second homes provide the much-needed infusion of fresh air, open spaces and the all-important connect with nature. Families can also bond together in a better way on weekends.
Due to this, in recent years, a rising number of Mumbaikars have been skipping the traditional investment avenues like gold or the stock market, in favour of property. The sustained rise in real estate rates, coupled with the significant gains enjoyed by property owners over the past decade, has made it the preferred investment avenue in the current scenario. With the rising realty rates, having a second home seems to be a better hedge for the future. After all, the yields provided by real estate are regular and reasonable, which makes it an ideal investment option. Moreover, many second home destinations have evolved and transformed into first home destinations, making the scope for returns on investment even higher.
Nikesh Jain, Broker Owner, RE/MAX Sun Realtors, opines that monsoon is the main reason for second homes/ weekend getaways for Mumbai. After the scorching humid summer, the best season Mumbai has is the rains, compared to all others. Maharashtra is well-known for heavy rainfall.
According to Nikesh, Lonavala is the best getaway for MMR citizens as it has maximum waterfalls starting from the expressway itself and plenty of luxury resorts and budget hotels as well. It is the first choice for Mumbaikars because of the weather, waterfalls, dams, theme parks. Lonavala has always yielded good returns and the market has picked up in July with huge crowds coming on weekends for one-day picnics and visiting a few second home projects as well. From studio apartments to pool villas Lonavala has everything for second home buyers.
Karjat is also preferred as a second home destination because of the scenic location, flowing Ulhas River, farmhouses owned by celebrities like Salman Khan and a couple of good resorts, Nikesh points out. As an investment, he highlights the future prospect of development under NAINA (Navi Mumbai Airport Influenced Notified Area) and under MMRDA, Karjat is just 50 kilometres from the proposed NMIA (Navi Mumbai International Airport) and will be connected to Panvel through a proposed tunnel. After Radisson opened at Alibaug, the beach destination getaway’s second home property market picked up with a lot of developers starting budget homes. South Mumbai's ultra high networth individuals (UHNIs) own huge farmhouses and villas there as it is just a 20-minute speed boat ride away from the Gateway of India. Other prominent second home locations are Daman, Silvassa, Igatpuri and Shahpur, Nikesh points out. In fact, one of the most visible trends in real estate development has been the shift from ‘prime’ locations to ‘lifestyle’ locations.
Instead of only focusing on traditional second home destinations, developers have been exploring peripheral areas in and around the MMR and locations, where land is available for developing premium homes with amenities to match. There is a clear trend towards selfcontained projects offering row houses or villas. Weekend home options, in the form of ready plots and bungalows have really become a popular real estate option in recent times. Moreover, gated communities offer all the conveniences of city life that one takes for granted, from maintenance services to piping hot meals and much more, so the weekend is really spent in rest and relaxation. The biggest advantage of buying a home at such projects is that one can enjoy the benefits of property ownership at a lower cost with scope for value appreciation. Plus, the family gets a better quality of life. Proximity to nature adds to the soothing ambience offered by projects at such locations