Indians have always been fascinated with the idea of owning a farmhouse. Since the 80s and 90s, it was in vogue for the super-rich to own a farmhouse in scenic hills or across the urban peripheries. Spending time in the beautiful locales was a great way to bond with nature, recharge your batteries, and have a good time with friends & families. Farmhouses have also been a great status symbol for the Indian high class.
The farmhouses in India continue to be a party to favorable interest from the Indians even in the present times. In fact, after the pandemic, the interest in farmhouses and other related products such as retirement & second home, gated villas, etc. have further got a shot in the arm.
Amidst growing WFH and flexible working culture, people now prefer to work from scenic views and natural greeneries, away from the hustle and bustle of regular city life. Due to hybrid workflows, people can now use their farmhouse properties as regular weekend gateways. Interestingly, the category is also seeing promising capital gains and rental incomes, which is further helping the segment thrive.
While there is no dearth of popular farmhouse destinations such as Shimla, Alibaug, Lavasa, Lonavla, Ooty, Pondicherry, etc. there are a host of upcoming destinations as well. These upcoming locations are endowed with natural beauty and are also relatively affordable; thereby they won’t dent deep into the pocket.
Sindhudurg, Western Ghat: The Sindhudurg region stretches across ~ 5000 sq kms, in the picturesque Konkan region. It is located in Maharashtra, adjacent to Goa. It is endowed with beautiful hills, greeneries, and exotic beaches along with popular temples and archaeological forts. Many consider Sindhudurg an iconic tourist destination of the future. The region is the least populated district in Maharashtra, which further adds a layer of tranquility. Party to heavy rain, it is endowed with ample greeneries. The region is connected with NH17. It is also connected through Konkan Railways, whereas airports in Dabolim (Goa), Ratnagiri and Belgaum are also nearby, thereby connecting Sindhudurg conveniently with the rest of India.
Goa accounts for around 20-25% of the farmhouse & second home projects in India. In Goa, there are regular favorites such as Morjim, Panjim, South Goa, etc. However, recent times have seen a jump in the spotlight on Sindhudurg and its nearby region as well. Property prices have increased by 10-12% between 2019 and 2021 in Sindhudurg backed by rising in demand. Sindhudurg can also give rental yields to the tune of 6-7% annually.
Delhi-Jaipur Highway: The 190-km-long, 8-lane stretch is a potential ground for developing farmhouses and gated villas at affordable rates. The region is well connected through road. It is also conveniently linked to some of the most sought-after tourist destinations in northwest India such as Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Alwar, Neemrana, etc. There are numerous picturesque forts, archaeological sites, and tourist places across the way. In the near future, it will be sought after second home and farmhouse destination for buyers from Gurgaon, Delhi, and Noida.
Nandi Hills: The beautiful hilly terrain known for its breath-taking mornings and evenings, clouds, and misty charms has been a hidden gem in Bangalore till recently. The location, known for its beautiful forest and scenic views, is located at just ~ 50 kms from Bangalore. It is becoming a popular destination for farmhouses, gated villas, and second homes. It serves well as a weekend gateway for the CXOs, tech entrepreneurs, and other clientele based out of Bangalore. The picturesque Nandi hills with a plethora of sightseeing opportunities are also a great location for extended WFH/ Remote Working amidst the tranquility of nature.
Property prices are moving upward at the rate of 2- 2.5% annually. Rental yields are roughly to the tune of 3-3.5%.
Gokarna: It is a beautiful place located in Karnataka, known for its beaches such as Om, Kudle, and Paradise. Though Gokarna is relatively less known than Goa, the fact remains unchallenged it is equally pristine and serene. Besides beaches and greeneries, Gokarna is dotted with beautiful temples, which further adds to the overall spiritual quotient. Gokarna also hosts a large expatriate population any time of the year, as many Europeans flock to the region during winters. As a real estate destination, Gokarna is yet to be fully explored. However, it is a potential market for second homes, farmhouses, cottages, and bungalows. Investing in property in Gokarna can give great rental yields, through long-stay rentals. Gokarna is also conveniently located close to Chennai and Bangalore, which can further drive demand.
Prices have appreciated in Gokarna at an average of 1.5-2% annually, despite the Covid-induced slowdown in recent years. Investing in Gokarna can give rental yields of around 5-6%.
Solan: Located 46 Kms from Shimla at the hill bottom, Solan is spread across 2,500 villages beside a town at the center. The region is around a 5-hour drive from Delhi. Solan is becoming a popular destination for new farmhouse-style projects in Northern India, due to its tranquil, calm, and serene atmosphere. The region is known for old vineyards, adventure sports, and long hill walks. Other popular tourist spots such as Shimla, Barog, Chail, Kasauli, etc. are also nearby, which is an added advantage. Already numerous resort and hotel projects are getting redeveloped as second homes and farmhouses in Solan and its nearby region.
Average property prices have moved up marginally in the range of 0.7%- 0.9% yearly during 2019-2022. Rental rates in Solan are close to 4% annually.
The state of Himachal Pradesh will comprise around 6-8% of farmhouse and second home demand in India in the coming times. Solan will play a pivotal role in the same.
(By Ankit Kansal, Founder and MD, Axon Developers)
Disclaimer: This is the author’s personal opinion. Readers are advised to consult their financial planner before making any investment.