The need for a safe home away from the high-density hotspots, along with capital appreciation and rental income, appear to be key factors boosting the second homes' segment. One such location in this segment that has emerged in the past few years is Alibaug where developers are now specializing in building high-end villas for High Networth Individuals (HNIs).
A roll-on-roll-off (Roro)-cum-passenger ferry service is available between Mumbai and Mandwa near Alibaug. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Alibaug from Mumbai. The ferry was launched in 2020 and can accommodate 145 cars and around 500 passengers. Just a few days back, a water taxi service was launched from Domestic Cruise Terminal at Mazgaon to Mandwa. The watertaxi – NAYAN XI – undertakes a total of six trips, three from each side. The operator Nayantara Shipping Private Limited is also awaiting clearance from the Maharashtra Maritime Board and Mumbai Port Trust to operate a similar service from Gateway of India.
Dr. Sachin Chopda, Managing Director, Pushpam Group said “Earlier, the concept of investing in a second home or a farmhouse was popular only among the celebrities, HNI's or the elite class. However, post-pandemic, the idea of a second home is being widely accepted by the middle and upper-middle class as well. Also the RoRo services and the recently launched water-taxis have cut down the distance between Mumbai and Alibaug making it more convenient to travel. Off late, there has been a lot of demand from the millennial or working professionals due to WFH or those having adopted a hybrid model, preferring to work in isolation, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This also helps them to maintain a proper work-life balance where they can live in bigger homes in the lap of nature, spend quality time with their families and also ensure productivity at work."
Homebuyers in Mumbai are looking for second homes in the range of Rs 2 crore to Rs 50 crore that are just about a 90-minute drive from the main city. During Covid-19, several high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) and young working professionals in vertical Mumbai have bought properties in nearby Alibaug, Karjat and Lonavala.
Customers are looking at weekend homes as income generating assets. These homes are used around 30 to 40 days in a year. Buyers can rent these units on a per day basis and can generate good rental income. This trend is catching up and a lot of developers are giving this option to the buyers. This makes weekend homes a good short-term as well as a long-term investment.