By Accommodation Times Bureau
Life is all about making memories. The best way to make memories is to go for a vacation. Who doesn’t love a vacation? It is the perfect way to bond with loved ones and add to the album of your life.
Vacationing has a new face now, thanks to vacation homes. It works as a win-win for both the renter and the owner. Owners get a chance to have properties and earn from it too while the renter gets a chance to live in a home-like atmosphere in an affordable range.
A perfect balance
The industry is now working on a perfect balance of demand and supply. Vacation homes are in high demand among tourists due to the savings offered on vacation spendings. Thanks to the intense competition and stress of daily life, the number of people wanting to ‘get away’ is now higher than ever before. The corporate world has also taken a leaner stance allowing employees to work from home. Hence, getting away for a few days to a vacation home and working from there is a common phenomenon seen all around, especially among the millennials.
Buying a property has always been a good investment; nothing gives you more capital appreciation. Urban Indians are now keen on investing in a second property and renting it out as vacation homes. Buying a second home is no more the luxury of the super-rich. Demand for second homes has risen steadily among the modest urban middle class over the last few years. The rent from letting these out as vacation homes provides an additional income even after covering the home loan EMIs.
The lush green countryside of Mumbai serves as an ideal place for vacation homes and is in high demand. While not being too far away from the city, it gives a feeling of being away. Other places where the demand for vacation homes is high are Lonavala, Talegaon and Alibaug. Their connectivity to Mumbai is what makes them a preferred location for both buying and renting vacation homes. The price of buying a vacation home in these places ranges from Rs 14 lakhs to Rs 40 crores. A decent place can be purchased in between Rs 20 – Rs 30 lakh. Estimates say that even if these homes have guests for half a year, still the owner would be able to make 10% return on investment.
Innovation at its best
This demand-supply mechanism has spruced up the industry on the whole. Realtors are coming up with new ideas for building innovative homes to attract potential buyers. Theme based projects are now the talk of the town. Mumbai based Nirvana Realty is building a music theme based villa on the Mumbai-Pune highway. Earlier, Disney tied up with Suntech to come up with a Disney themed villa in Mumbai. Rustomjee group has created a 12-acre amusement park for kids inside the Evershine Global City Projects in Virar.
Tata Housing has an ongoing project in Talegaon named La Montana which is Mediterranean themed. The arches, railings, cut stone facades speak of status and luxury and no wonder the project is being sold off like hotcake. Another notable project is the Singapore themed township Bloomfield at Ambegaon Budruk, Pune. With an interesting mix of villas, apartments and bungalows, the project has something for everyone.
One of the most notable projects showing innovation is the Hiranandani Sands project in Alibaug by the notable realtor Hiranandani group. Located off the Nagaon coast, these beach houses are ideal to be used as vacation homes. Accessible both by road and by the sea from Gateway of India, this project has 43 premium villa plots. They are ideal for investment as well as spending some leisure time. They are in great demand among property purchasers, especially those who want to convert their second home into a holiday villa.
The other side of the coin
The demand for hiring vacation homes is increasing day by day. And this demand is not driven by the middle class only. Even the ultra-rich are now opting for holiday homes rather than hotels to stay in the comfort of a homely atmosphere.
An interesting trend from the rental side is the high demand for such homes from celebrities and this is not limited to India only. All across the world, we can see celebrities opting for vacation rentals rather than winding up in a luxurious hotel. The acquisition of Luxury Retreats by Airbnb in 2017 indicates that this trend is going to continue. Don’t be surprised if you see your favourite celebrity staying in the same house with you on your next vacation.
The concept of vacation homes has been popular in the west for long. Traditionally, Mumbai attracts an enormous number of foreign tourists, most of which are backpackers. They are ditching the hotels and opting for vacation homes which are available at a much cheaper rate. A room in South Mumbai is available for as low as Rs 1000 per night. This helps a tourist have a longer vacation by spending much lesser.
Among the type of houses, the highest demand can be seen among beach houses. Well, when it comes to vacations, nothing can beat a beach or a mountain, isn’t it? The bookings are not limited to seaside houses only. Even lakeside houses are in high demand. People who owned houses in Alibaug are making the best use of their property. In Mumbai too, the demand for places around the sea like Juhu, Worli, Bandra, etc are the highest.
According to a recent survey done by VRBO.com, 31% of travellers want to take their pet along with them on a vacation. Moreover, 60% have a dietary restriction. A holiday home serves best for both these kinds of people with no restrictions on pets and having the freedom to make one’s own food.
Concentrate on the reviews
If you are the owner of a home or you are looking to rent properties, reviews are your key. Reviews play a big role in the vacation rental industry. If you are planning a vacation, don’t take a chance. Read the reviews and understand what to expect and also what not. If you are the owner, managing reviews is the key to good business. This involves hosting the guests well to ensure they leave a good review. Replying to reviews is also crucial because it shows how involved you are. No one wants to go for a vacation to an unkempt house where the owner doesn’t care about anything at all.
The demand for vacation rentals is only expected to increase in the coming years. Whichever side of the grass you are in, a tourist or an investor, thinking about a vacation home is the right decision. After all, money saved is money earned.