Weekend Homes become a preferred real estate investment post COVID-19

INMASO Research Report & Buying Guide analyses significant trends and growth drivers.

During the two past months, most of us have been confined to our homes due to the nationwide lockdown declared in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Even while grappling with the possibility of a further extension or pondering over the graded lifting of the lockdown, one theme that keeps recurring during discussions is the possibility of gradually moving to a weekend home permanently. With work from home being accepted as part of the ‘new normal,’ many people are seriously considering a shift of residence, away from the crowded cities for obvious reasons.   

To help them take a better, more informed decision in this regard, that too while staying in the safety and comfort of their homes itself, INMASO has just released its Research Report & Buying Guide titled ‘Weekend Home Sector Outlook Post COVID-19: MMR & Pune.’  

Sharing the rationale behind preparing the report, Santosh Naik, Founder, INMASO, explains, “Everyone is concerned about the impact of COVID-19 from a health and economic perspective. Being in the weekend home industry for the last 15 years, we tried to find out the impact of COVID-19 on this niche but very important sector of the real estate industry. Our research indicates that new habits and behaviours are being formed, which will continue beyond this crisis, permanently changing what we value, how and where we shop, and how we live and work. Post COVID-19, the biggest shift we found is that a weekend home which was once an aspirational ‘want’ is now emerging as a ‘need’ for a safe and secured home and sensible real estate investment.”

Emphasising that this tectonic shift in perception will change the entire outlook, structure and the future of this sector, Santosh underlined that this report is based on data and information from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Pune. “We are sure the findings and outcomes can be extrapolated across all metros and tier one cities of India. Our objective to compile this research is to provide analysis and consumer insights of this fascinating sector post COVID-19, which will be useful for developers, home buyers and all stakeholders of the real estate industry as well as other sectors,” he added.

The prime objective of this report is to understand the outlook of the Weekend Home sector post COVID-19, which includes the following parameters:

Ø  The reasons / objectives for buying weekend homes

Ø  Buyer’s requirements / features while buying weekend homes

Ø  Customer profile and the target segment

Ø  Preferred types and budget for weekend homes

Ø  Preferred destinations for weekend homes

Ø  Demand estimation for weekend homes in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and nearby areas) and Pune

Ø  New trends in weekend homes post COVID-19

Top 10 trends in Weekend Homes post COVID-19

1)      A weekend home is emerging as a NEED and not just an aspirational asset to invest in. It will no longer be a discretionary purchase.

2)      Weekend homes close to a city with good infrastructure and internet connectivity will be used as a workplace as well as a first home.

3)      In addition to being a weekend retreat, weekend homes will be safe and secured homes to stay in crisis situation like COVID-19, away from the city.

4)      People will prefer to spend holidays and vacations in their weekend homes instead of travelling to holiday destinations.

5)      People will buy weekend homes in gated communities with all amenities instead of investing in stand-alone farmhouses or villas.

6)      Millennials (age 21 to 37 years) will invest in weekend homes.

7)      For many buyers, this will be their first real estate purchase.

8)      Fractional ownership of weekend homes will emerge and become popular.

9)      Preference for apartments and villas instead of plots.

10)   Demand for farmhouses with farming instead of luxury villas.

The INMASO report concludes that with a demand of almost 2 lakh units in MMR and 50,000 units in Pune, the Weekend Home sector will emerge as the next big thing in the real estate industry. Most of the buying will happen for value for money for projects in the price range of Rs. 20 to 80 lakh.

Decision drivers identified in the report for this segment in the present scenario and going forward are:

·         Safe and secured home to stay during crisis like COVID-19

·         Go back to nature / Roots to live a quality life

·         Spend holidays and vacations with family and loved ones

·         Retirement home

·         Investment

·         Activities like organic farming and gardening

·         Live a healthy life in a pollution-free environment away from hectic city life

·         Status symbol / Aspiration to own a weekend home

Buyer’s requirements include:

1.    Safe and secured project, which can be used as a safe house during crisis like COVID-19

2.     Good infrastructure with internet connectivity

3.     Close to market and medical facilities

4.     Home loan options

5.     Pleasant weather and non-polluted environment

6.     Within 150 km/ 3 hours of driving distance

7.     Well connected by road/ rail

8.     Reputation of the developer

9.     Natural surroundings (hills, greens and water bodies)

10.   Budget - value for money project

11.   Recreation facilities like clubhouse, pool, restaurant, etc.

12.   Clear title and legal approvals

The report analyses the profiles of Weekend Home buyers, their preferred types, budgets, prime destinations (Khandala, Lonavala, Alibaug, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Goa), popular destinations (Karjat, Talegaon, Igatpuri) and emerging locations (Khopoli-Pali Road, Wada, Murbad, Dahanu, Kamshet). The demand is estimated at 1.8 lakh units in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai & Thane (MMR) and 0.54 lakh units in Pune. It also explains the challenges faced by the Weekend Home sector.

INMASO is a business solutions and advisory organisation for the Real Estate sector specializing in marketing and finance. It is founded by real estate professionals with vast experience in management, marketing, finance and digital technologies. With their innovative marketing concepts and out of the box sales methods, INMASO has successfully marketed several real estate projects across Maharashtra over the last 15 years.

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