Second homes take center stage amid rising COVID-19 cases and fear of a third wave

As the country battles COVID-19 cases, wealthy people retreat to their second homes. These homes, typically located a short drive from the city, made for the perfect weekend getaways or shorter stays away from the hustle and bustle of city life. However, more and more people are viewing these weekend homes as longer term residences following the lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic.

After the COVID-19 epidemic, there has been a marked increase in the demand for stays in luxury villas, for the purchase of second homes on the outskirts of major metros. According to a survey of Knight Frank’s global buyers, people are looking to invest in a second home where they can retire in the event of future outbreaks. Closer to home, the reduced interest rate increased affordability and prompted consumers to consider investing in second homes. More than rental income or future appreciation, the idea behind these second homes is to have larger accommodations in a green and safe environment.

Speaking on the trend, Shveta Jain, Managing Director of Residential Services, Savills India, a real estate consultancy firm, said: “Interest in second homes has increased dramatically, especially following the emergence of operators and aggregators organized in this space. The desire to own a second home has only grown tremendously in the midst of the pandemic. We have seen an almost 50% increase in queries following the COVID 19 outbreak, and the traction continues to grow. With work and home study being a new normal in today’s world, second homes are interestingly converting into co-primary residences for many. The aspiration to have a healthy and balanced life is further driving the demand for second homes as homebuyers increasingly seek a pollution-free and holistic living environment. Buyers between the ages of 32 and 50 look for independent homes or villas, preferably in gated developments that offer open spaces, panoramic views, and common amenities.

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Why are second homes growing in popularity?
The pandemic has changed the idea of ​​the house. The lockdown has resulted in restrictions on travel and commuting, with the home becoming the center stage for everything from work and learning to fitness, recreation and even entertainment. For those who had already invested in second homes, moving the base to these homes was an obvious decision.

Localities like Alibaug, Lonavala, Karjat, Pavana and even Goa have been the top choices for Mumbai second home seekers. Here they have big, spacious houses in the middle of a green expanse. These houses make it easier to meet the needs of different family members across generations and to be close to nature, which is not easily achieved in a typical urban dwelling.

The entourage of these houses also offers avenues of exploration without having to worry about social distancing and helps to find a better work-life balance to spend quality time with loved ones. It also provides a stress-free and safe environment away from the boredom and anxiety of being locked in a house in the city.

How are second homes evolving?
While the space is well maintained, these freestanding homes generally lacked the amenities and level of service HNIs are accustomed to. And this has led to a demand for exclusive second homes that are fully serviced and offering them a break from the routine while adding to their lifestyle and experience with a host of amenities.

There is a demand for homes with multifunctional and adaptable spaces for work and leisure and enough space to meet the needs of every family member of all age groups. In addition to access to greenery, with the increased emphasis on physical and mental well-being, there is a demand for housing with amenities to support these goals. Today’s luxury second homes are outfitted with gyms, badminton and tennis courts, golf courses, swimming pools, yoga studios, defined outdoor spaces, and even home theaters.

Take, for example, The Reserve in Lodha Belmondo. It includes spacious apartments, villas and country houses and has seen a significant increase in demand in recent months. This is a project of the Lodha Group, located in a 100 acre luxury resort and located on the banks of the Pavana River. Residents here have access to a 50,000 square foot golf course, country club and spa, 90 acres of landscaped open greens, among others.

Reflecting on the increased demand, Prateek Bhattacharya, President – Middle Income and Affordable Housing, Lodha, said, “For many homebuyers what they value has changed and there is an increased desire to move on. more time with family and friends while being surrounded. by nature while being able to be productive. At The Reserve in Lodha Belmondo, with resort-style amenities including a 45-acre golf course designed by golf legend Greg Norman and exclusive collaborations with brands like Isprava, we offer luxury weekend homes unique, perfect for the needs of the affluent Indians of today’s world.

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