Post-covid, there has been a paradigm shift in choice and preference of property buyers and investors. More recently , plots and plotted developments have gained popularity, with farmhouses emerging as a prime investment class in real estate. Particularly HNIs have developed a great fancy for farm houses.
Post-pandemic, when there is increasing focus on lifestyle that ensures health safety and wellness, farmhouses not only provide a lifestyle that gives a great escape from congested and polluted city life to bond with nature , offering privacy and safety with wellness . A recent research by 360 Realtors, which surveyed 400 HNIs in India shows that 58% of the respondents want to buy farmhouses or other related properties in the near future. Close to 26% of the respondents are willing to invest around Rs 1.5 – 3 Crores. A little less than 13% of the respondents indicated that they are willing to invest between Rs 3 -5 Crores.
Farm houses in hills are a major attraction as about 38% of survey respondents want to buy a farmhouse property there. In Maharashtra, the hilly terrains of Lavasa and Lonavla are highly popular destinations to build farmhouses, second homes, villas, etc. In the North, popular destinations such as Shimla, Solan, Mussoorie, and Nainital are preferred for farmhouses and gated villas. Industrialists, businessmen, retired officials, senior corporate executives from NCR, Chandigarh, etc. flock to such locations, lured by scenic beauty. In the South, Ooty is a highly sought-after farmhouse and second home destination, as it offers a calm and serene life to the residents. About one fourth of buyers prefer farmhouses in the city peripheries. Sea beaches are also the sought-after farmhouse destinations. Besides regular favourites such as Pondicherry, Vizag, Goa, etc, other upcoming locations such as Western Ghats and Sindhudurg are also evincing buyers’ interest.
According to Ankit Kansal, Founder and MD, 360 Realtors, a lot of HNIs are gravitating towards city peripheries to build farmhouses and gated villas, as they offer easy commuting options for a weekend stay with friends and families In MMR, Kajrat, Alibaug, etc. are popular choices. Panvel is also steadily rising up as a top-notch, farmhouse destination. It is known for its wider roads, plenty of greenery, water bodies, etc. In NCR, the list includes the likes of Aravalis, Chatarpur, Delhi- Jaipur Highway, etc. In Bangalore, the Nandi Hill Region, which is located at a distance of around 50 Kms from the city is gaining significance One can enjoy a lot of wood walks, sporting activities, etc. in Nandi Hills and its nearby areas.
The research by 360 Realtors has also provided insights on the growing trend of value additions in the farmhouses as a property category. Farmhouses are no more limited to the conventional definition of building a cozy cottage or house in the midst of farmland with some leisure facilities clubbed together.
Buyers and investors are willing to go the extra mile and spend money for better facilities. As per the survey, 47% of the respondents want yoga, meditation, and other wellness facilities while 57.5% of participants want facilities for events and private parties. As many as 65.6% buyers wish to have a swimming pool and around 17.2% want laundry facilities and 21.4% like to have concierge facilities, even at an incremental cost.
There is a steady but visible trend of hotelization of farmhouses. New features are continuously being added to farmhouses to give more enriching and enhanced stay experience. Moreover, farmhouses along with bungalows and second homes are now actively used for long stays. They are also becoming very popular to host parties, wedding events, corporate shows, etc. This further necessitates the need for better security, increased amenities, and layers of new services & offerings, according to Kansal.
Regarding their preference for designs, 32.5% of the prospective buyers suggested their liking for conventional rural-styled designs. A little less than 28% indicated liking for Scandinavian design features which mainly include white shades, minimalist & clean styles, etc. Roughly 9% of the respondents also indicated their liking for rustic/ industrial type designs demonstrating the willingness amongst Indian farmhouse investors/ buyers to try out new ideas.
This residential real estate category of farmhouses will continue to gain momentum in the coming times. The lines between farmhouses, gated villas, and retirement & second homes are blurring. The space is also getting organized as in recent times, a slew of big developers such as Tata Housing, Lodha, Kalpataru, Axon Homes, etc. are venturing into the space. Farmhouses are also offering lucrative investment opportunity. Buyers are smartly tapping into attractive capital gains and recurrent rental income streams.