For many sectors the COVID-19 pandemic was a disaster, but for the real estate market in Goa, especially in luxury villa segment and selling of plots in a gated community, it came as a boon in disguise.

Property in Goa is much in demand. From studio apartments to villas, everything is selling briskly despite the pandemic, or more accurately, because of it. Real estate developers in Goa believe that the prospect of working from a place that is safe, short distances to travel, largely crowd-free and affords a good quality of life is drawing people from other cities in the country, to Goa.

Those who had been ‘working from home’ from Goa and continue to do so are now convinced that living and working out of Goa is practical and economical. This has resulted it many inquiries for the developers. Hence, Goa’s property prices in luxury segment, studio apartments and plots have surged ahead, rather unexpectedly. However, the same cannot be said about the normal two to three-bedroom apartments in a gated community as they are either first time buyers or are willing to go for a second home, believed some developers who spoke to the Herald.

President of the Goa Association of Realtors (GAR), Amit Chopra was candid enough to express that the lower end of the market in the real estate market is behaving completely differently from the upper end.

“End users in lower middle class and the middle class are the worst hit in the category which includes businessmen as below the range of any property below Rs one crore is not doing well in the market. This has been happening even since pre-pandemic. It has become worse post-pandemic. However, lot of people, are buying plots and lot of luxury sales are happening. Now, we have a problem that there is less land available in Goa,” said Amit Chopra.

Goa happens to be the smallest State in the country. In fact the Goa is one third of the Bellari district of neighbouring state Karnataka. “Rental market had a huge demand after pandemic but that was temporary as those ‘working from home’ had different plans and they were planning something permanent in Goa and at the same time, the rentals was cascading. Work from home is going to be long term and it is not going to go away shortly. It is going to stay. Office rentals have dipped drastically and companies are preferring to cut down on their rental costs too,” added Chopra.

President of CREDAI, Goa Nilesh Salkar said, “There is a feeling that Goa offers the best of both worlds. With an infrastructure better than most places, Goa offers the right balance in terms of work environment and after work life. So many professionals and mid-career businessmen are choosing to settle down here. There are people from diverse professions, from IT to film-making to writing and all of them who are inclined to work from home in Goa. This has immense potential for employment generation. However, there is a demand across all types of properties- small to large budget. But most of it seems concentrated in North Goa.”

Jagannath Desh Prabhudesai, former President of CREDAI, Goa is of the opinion that soon after the lockdown in March last year Goa had declared itself as a ‘green zone’ and that impression stays all over India. Hence people started to ‘migrate’ here to Goa.

“In fact, I too got some customers who sold off their property in north India and wanted to shift to a better habitat by staying on rental places as they rightly felt that Goa is safer. It is all online now and all transparent. I also learnt that people want a quieter place that is why they want to settle in South Goa as there is no much boom this side as opposed to North Goa. In fact flats etc are for local market and when it stabilizes, it will pick up and there is no boom as such in the mid segment. Yes there is stagnation in this segment. Now people who want to settle down in Goa, they prefer high-end property as they have more purchasing power,” said Prabhudesai.

Chairman of the Real Estate and Housing committee of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Architect Manguesh R Prabhugaonker said, “The generic recession due to slowdown and impacts on the housing industry has resulted into a drastic change in the type of housing typologies in terms of its demand and supply ratios across various income groups ranging from lower income groups, middle income groups and high income groups. With investors taking a slow, careful wait and watch policy, especially the surplus fund and second homes concepts housing types, it is very interesting to see the change moving from greedy to needy type of genuine.”

“If the policy of housing for all by 2022 has to become a reality, there is an urgent need for a survey with a planning technique that will understand the demand and stocks of existing scenarios in Goa and also look at futuristic implementation strategies so that Goa’s housing polices could do appropriate justice to the buyers,” added Prabhugaonker who is also the national council member of the Indian Institute of Architects.

He further explained, “If one compares plotted development versus built multi-dwelling gated community based apartment complexes, we can see a trend of larger population, wanted to invest in plotted development and gradually get a feel of the rising market in the housing industry with careful investment. One can see that larger stakeholders are not wanting to announce mega-scale projects involving huge investments primarily due to changing scenarios of the market trends ‘post-COVID’.”

In addition to people in Goa, populations across India seem to prefer plotted type of developments in fringe and semi urban areas. Concept of work from home both in terms of small scale micro industry up to a corporate officials are preferring to have a house with a flexible layout of an independent.

“On the other side in multi-dwelling apartments, a trend has been seen with more of lease based or rent based avenues which are reflecting trends of very cautiously planned investment modules in the post pandemic situation,” opined Prabhugaonker.

Source: OHeraldo ( https://bit.ly/2Qra1KM )