‘Second wave impacts luxury home purchases’

The second wave appears to have impacted purchases of luxury homes by high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals, who were seen buying new homes last year to move to safer and sprawling locations.

“Right after the first wave, people wanted to upgrade their homes with larger spaces, more amenities and open areas,” said Amit Goyal, CEO, India Sotheby’s International Realty. “They made quick decisions. Our average transaction closure time reduced from 4-6 months to less than 90 days,” he added.

But during the second wave “demand has quietened,” Mr. Goyal said. “We expect demand to return as the country reopens and people are vaccinated.”

In Delhi, purchases of luxury properties priced over ₹13-14 crore for high rise apartments, to more than ₹70-80 crore for bungalows were mainly by lawyers, doctors and architects. Industrialists and actors had led the demand in Mumbai.

“The new addition has been start-up founders who have cashed out after a stake sale,” he said.

Few micro-markets that were in very high demand included city centre properties close to people’s workplace.

“Farm houses and independent plots have been in high demand and we have witnessed prices rise in both. There was 20-25% price increase in some of the micro-markets,” he said.

Likewise, demand has been very strong for holiday homes within 4-5 hours’ drive from metro cities. In the north, hill destinations such as Shimla, Rishikesh, Mussoorie and Dehradun have been in high demand. “Because of very low supply of inventory and robust demand, now prices have started moving up,” he said.

Similarly, in Goa, localities like Anjuna, Siolim and Reis Magos have seen very strong demand and prices have been firming.

The keen interest of the HNIs to buy properties in London, Europe, U.S., Canada, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong has been marred by travel restrictions though they are undertaking virtual tours to identify the properties, Mr. Goyal said.

He added that the trend of NRIs investing in Indian property had been coming down over the last few years because of lack of price appreciation in real estate and rupee deprecation against the dollar. “This has made realty investments less attractive for NRIs,” he added.

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