Holiday homes, also known as second homes, serve as accommodations while on vacation. However, holiday homes have gained a new significance in the post-pandemic era with more people opting to relocate, seeking a more relaxing and serene place to live and work. Considering the growing demand for holiday homes, several property developers in India are presently getting into the holiday home market as wealthy individuals are increasingly seeking to purchase second homes in coastal or hilly destinations.
According to leading property consultants, these changes in consumer behaviour are actually being driven by the pandemic and the phased lockdowns that have prevented individuals from travelling to exotic holiday destinations. The work-from-home model is another significant factor driving the shift.
DLF, one of the largest and most renowned real estate developers in the country, is planning to construct residential developments in Goa and Kochi by this year. In the Northern region of India, Uttarakhand has been witnessing the highest demand for second homes whereas Himachal Pradesh is experiencing low levels of demand. Despite this, prominent realty developers are giving preference to sites in Himachal Pradesh, along with Uttarakhand, for constructing holiday homes.
“In the past two years, homebuyers have invested and continue to invest in high-value holiday homes as an extension of their current homes, set in the lap of nature, away from metros, as they look for social distancing, health, hygiene, safety, and comfort all in one space, which has also amplified the luxury housing demand in the past few quarters. Hill stations have always been preferred holiday destinations and especially for quick getaways from the hectic and mundane routines,” says Aakash Ohri, Group Executive Director and Chief Business Officer, DLF Home Developers.
Hill stations amid the mountains, with deep gorges, untouched woodlands, and lush meadows have always been popular vacation spots, especially for those seeking a quick escape from the humdrum of city life. For the past two years, homebuyers in India have been increasingly flocking to high-end holiday homes nestled in secluded natural settings seeking social isolation, protection, and luxurious amenities all in one place. Moreover, the pleasant climatic conditions contribute to the popularity of holiday homes in the heart of nature.
“While Dehradun, Kasauli and Shimla have always been popular for quick getaways from Delhi NCR, cities close to these hill stays have also got a major boost. For example, New Chandigarh and Panchkula. Strategic location with a few hour drive from metro cities, great views of the Shivaliks, pleasant climate and calmness are the hallmarks of these cities,” Ohri adds.
It is noteworthy that many big and small companies across the country are currently investing in holiday homes in hill stations, beach resorts, etc. as a way to appreciate and pamper their employees for their hard work. There is yet another trend that is invigorating demand for holiday homes among commercial establishments.
“The trend for holiday homes is spreading like wildfire as people are preferring leisure within their bio bubble due to the coronavirus-induced pandemic. Because there seems to be no end in sight to the pandemic, the work from home culture is inspiring particularly millennials to invest in such properties. The demand is high from both commercial establishments and individuals. Offices that are offering workspaces to employees and individuals have the advantage of generating rental income later by setting up these holiday homes as rental properties,” says Shashank Vashishtha, Executive Director, eXp India.
Holiday homes are attracting the attention of many developers who are looking to invest in this segment in Tier II and Tier III cities.
New Delhi-based realty developer Eldeco also plans to enter the holiday home segment soon. “We will enter the segment with projects in Kasauli, Rishikesh and Goa. We will do a joint venture and develop high-end villas. With our presence in Tier 2 cities, we get a lot of demand from our existing customer base,” says Pankaj Bajaj, Chairman and MD, Eldeco Group.
In light of the positive sentiment, it seems logical to assume India’s holiday home segment is poised for solid growth. Furthermore, the demand for luxury holiday homes will continue to grow in the coming years due to favorable economic conditions.