Rohan Shah recently bought a 7,000 sq ft plot opposite Pawna dam in Lonavla. According to Shah, a businessman, purchasing the plot for Rs. 20 lakh was one of best decisions he took.
Land rates rose by more than 10% within two months of his purchase.
"Mumbaiites still want to park their funds in realty," Shah said.
"Now, I, too, have a fabulous location to build a bungalow," he said.
Shah joins the growing number of city dwellers eager to buy second homes in the areas surrounding the city. Property outside the city could cost anywhere between Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 2 crore.
"We have packages tailor-made for all income groups," said Rahul Sambhare, manager, property sale, Expat Properties.
"We have properties for buyers even with budgets as small as Rs. 5 lakh," Sambhare said.
"People want to get away from the city after working hard all week," he said.
Alibaug, Mahad, Kolad, Karjat, Kasara, Wada, Shahapur, Murbad, Manori and Talegaon are emerging as popular spots for people to make their second homes.
"We have seen an exponential rise in people buying second homes in the last year," said Santosh Hasotkar, director, Dreamz Realty Solutions.
Dreamz, which has nine projects currently in the pipeline, says buyers have also bought plots as investments.
"We have seen prices appreciate by 20% annually, which attracts investors. Buying land outside the city could give better returns than buying gold or playing the stock market, he said.
Nanak Sainani, director, Nanak Properties, plans to make his 100-acre plot outside the city both a status symbol and a luxury get-away. Sainani is building a virtual township of second homes with personalised start-of-the-art facilities.
"We let the buyer decide right at the start what he wants. He can name any number of comforts, even make his home a log-house," he said.
The bungalows in his township costs Rs. 1.5 crore.
However, this mad rush for second homes has also resulted in serious problems. Several such projects get into legal trouble over fudged land records, unauthorised sales and false promises.
Real estate expert Ajay Chaturvedi cautions against rushing through deals just because they are affordable.
"Most of these builders do not have land titles and just vanish after the sale, leaving buyers in the lurch," Chaturvedi said.
"Buyers have to employ a good lawyer and ensure everything is in order before striking a deal, and check the builder's track record before buying the property."