Goa has traditionally been a favoured destination for luxury homes in the natural settings of sea, river and lush green forests. Post-covid, Goa’s significance as a high end vacation home/second home destination has gone up significantly. Goa based Sun Estates takes the pride in developing exquisite properties for the last over 25 years. Their elegant celebrity homes have a blend of uniquely innovative designs by world renowned architects. to create masterpieces.
Here in this interview with Torbit Realty, Suraj Morajkar, Managing Director, Sun Estates talks about the luxury housing market in Goa, transformative trends and changing preferences of home buyers . Excerpts.
Post-covid, the share of luxury homes to the overall sale of homes in major markets has shot up. In particular, the demand for luxury second homes/holiday homes has gone up. What has been the trend in Goa?
Goa is more than just a second home destination. Post Covid, Goa has caught the fancy of end users as this place has the potential to work from home. The environment here also favours quality living with facilities such as good hospitals, and schools. Over a period of time, Goa will see a lot of first-home users because of the international features it offers. The prices here have also increased since people have realized the potential to live in an international destination.
Luxury housing has undergone a lot of transformation in the post-covid period. What kind of transformation and key trends do you see in luxury housing in Goa?
Yes, the luxury homes started in the late 80s with the condominium culture, mid-90s with 2-bedroom units, and in early 2000 with row houses, and now of late the trend has been for stand-alone spacious homes with a large garden, offering privacy. The development has been more towards the coastal locations because the beach is a major attraction for a shorter holiday destination. Now soon with the opening of an international airport, there will be a larger influx of people visiting Goa.
Today a lot of people intend to stay in communities with like-minded people. They want to create large spaces with recreational facilities where they can stay in a group. They want their residential development at a strategic location, not really close to the coast but slightly in the interiors of Goa, especially towards the north and to some extent towards the south.
Tell us about the growing trend of celebrity homes in Goa as your company is developing high-end homes for celebrities to suit their exclusive requirements.
As far as celebrity homes are concerned, the kind of people that we have catered to, they didn’t give much consideration to location. Rather, they look for more private homes. Most of the locations that we have been developing over the last two and a half decades offer a lot of privacy. These locations are scenic with forests around, have river touch and even have easy access to the beach. We have been following this trend for long and more of the homes that we are developing are for people who seek private destinations. That is what attracts them.
In recent years, design has undergone a big transformation. What is the preference of luxury home buyers in Goa. Is there a trend for celebrity designers and foreign architects ?
Yes, Goa is going through a lot of competition on design and interiors front because today there are very few locations that can offer water/river view. So people are paying more attention on exclusivity of design and architecture. We’re the first ones to introduce Tarun Tahiliani who has expanded into the business of creating posh individualistic homes with innovative designing with his exclusive team . It is not necessarily the celebrities but even others who understand style and luxury, are the buyers of luxury second homes in Goa. A lot of companies who want to organise a brainstorming session of their top executives are preferring to go for a 7-8 room high end villa where they can bring in their CEOs or HODs and give them an altogether different feel. So this is the new trend in luxury housing that Goa is witnessing
How popular is theme-based designing in Goa, especially as your company is doing a lot of theme-based projects?
There are no theme projects in Goa because once you have such beautiful surroundings, you don’t feel the need for themes. So if any project has a USP like water/ river, such a projects gets a higher premium value but unfortunately, such properties are not available and most of the people are trying to woo buyers by way of different concepts introduced by designers. So it’s that angle which sells more than anything.
Which is the major buyer segment for luxury housing in Goa?
Over the last one year more and more families are planning to have a second home in Goa and this customer segment is from all over India and even abroad including NRIs. More and more home buyers are coming from the north because they have realized this could be a great option to live because of the favourable weather,especially as for several months in a year the weather in the North is unbearable whereas the climate in goa is more pleasant. So that has been one of the main reasons for greater demand for homes in Goa. There are even people who are trying to sell their properties elsewhere and put all their eggs in one basket i.e in a property in Goa. Instead of having scattered investments in different cities , it makes business sense to have one big consolidated investment in residential property in Goa for handsome returns. So people are trying to offload their investments in other parts of the country and invest in places like where their hospitality returns are much higher. For instance if they buy a villa, the cost of the villa v/s the returns are between 6-7% which is unlikely to get in other parts of the country.
Besides beach locations, what are the other favourite locations of luxury home buyers in Goa?
Well, the beach has not really been the favourite location Despite being a homebuyer’s desire, a beach location can not be developed the way a second home /vacation home buyer wants due to restrictive CRZ laws. But alternative options like rivers, valleys and forest views are in demand These are the most desired locations as home buyers can enjoy seclusion and privacy.
In big cities large pan-India developers have changed the luxury housing landscape . What’s the scene in Goa?
Currently, there are lots of brokers who are trying to do smaller residential developments with smaller plot sizes. Larger developers find it very difficult to do luxury homes, Goa doesn’t have a large settlement land where you can do projects because the population does not support it. Well, you have to depend on tourists only for second homes or the people who want to come to Goa on a holiday. On the other hand big cities with natural flow of buyers have potential for large developers. Oherwise, here the large developers are looking only at projects of a large size or if there is a resort which needs to be expanded.
What is your outlook about the Goa luxury housing market in the coming times going forward, what are your company’s plans?
As far as the luxury market is concerned, more and more people are planning to live in a group together and that is the way the market will go. There will be a group of friends who will approach developers and give them the mandate to develop exclusive luxury property with all kind of facilities . Secondly, I would say that our company is looking in that direction where there will be exclusivity and everything will be within the comfort zone of the buyer. We intend to do a project in Arambol, which will be sold only through invitation. The project would be launched sometime in March 2023. We have already soft launched it to check the market response. Going by the response, we may not have homes to offer once we officially launch the project. That has been the kind of demand we are getting in this particular area because the land availability is very restricted and as such very limited areas are available for development . It is a case of less supply and more demand.