Most people are buying or renting property near popular tourist destinations in Goa, like Anjuna and Vagator, giving a boost to the beach town’s Covid-hit real estate business.

A Real Estate brokerage firm in North Goa, was hit by a slump in business in March, when the entire country and most of the world went into a lockdown due to Covid-19. Migrants, who made up a bulk of the rental market in Goa, left in large numbers as some lost jobs and others started working from home. Commercial rentals too were hit with offices scaling down premises.

But then, by 1 September, the Goa government opened its borders and lifted all restrictions on the movement of people, and the firm’s business saw an uptick, albeit a small one.

“We have lost our regular market, but we are getting a lot of calls from people outside Goa who are looking to rent or buy houses here, since they are anyway ‘working from home’. These are mostly people from big cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune,” the owner said. “Business is now slightly better because of such people.”

With Covid-19 still looming large and many offices allowing employees to work remotely — some even indefinitely — several big city dwellers have begun acting on their once-wishful plans of moving to Goa. Insiders from Goa’s real estate market say this has pushed up the demand for mid-to-upper-range villas, apartments in gated communities, as well as houses in the state’s luxury segment.