Buying a second home in Uttarakhand: Pros and cons


The hills of Uttarakhand offer a plethora of second home properties, across segments, with the prospect of earning good rental income. We look at whether it makes sense for home buyers to invest in the state and the factors they should consider

An increasing number of aspirational second home buyers, are now investing in vacation home destinations in hill stations, owing to the picturesque location, booming hospitality industry and concept of home stays and wellness that such regions offer.

One such state, Uttarakhand and its cities, including parts of Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Mussoorie, have been favourite investment destinations among investors and buyers from across the country. Some other cities such as Nainital, Rudrapur and Chamoli, are also on the radar of many home buyers looking for a second home.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
State regulations favour buying by allHigh property prices in important regions
Multiple options for prospective buyersLow demand for under-construction properties
Steady appreciation in property rates
Freehold properties available
Leasehold model becoming popular

However, buying a property in Uttarakhand needs an in-depth understanding of the market. Here is a closer look at some of the factors that one should consider, before buying.

 

Advantages of buying a second home in Uttaranchal

  1. State regulations favour buying

Uttarakhand is open to investments from people from other states. The government has clearly spelt out the buying restrictions, for people residing outside the state. There is no restriction on the size of the property/plot, if one is buying within the municipal limits of the cities. However, as per the rules, a person can buy only 250 sq metres of agricultural land falling outside city area. This also means that two or three people of the same family can buy co-joined or distant, separate 250 sq metre land parcels. However, if the agricultural land is within city limits, one has to comply with the Land Ceiling Act of the state.

  1. Multiple options for prospective buyers

Properties are available across categories – from apartments and villas, to plots and agricultural land. While some of the high priced locations across the state’s capital Dehradun and the tourist destination of Mussoorie offer small-sized two-bedroom apartments in the range of Rs 6,000-6,500 per sq ft, plots are also available in the range of Rs 30,000-35,000 per sq yard. A villa or a plotted development, will be priced from Rs 50 lakhs to as high as Rs 10-12 crores.

“The entire region has developed as a residential-cum-vacation destination, with options for all kinds of buyers. New-age buyers who can spend on a second home with their high disposable incomes, are particularly attracted to this region,” says Pranav Sahini, a Mussoorie-based real estate broker.

See also: Weekend homes: Does luxury rule the roost or affordability?

  1. Steady appreciation in property rates

Developing and established areas have seen a steady appreciation in property prices across categories, except land. Delhi-based resident KK Gaur, who invested in a plotted development on Sahastradhara Road, in Dehradun, says, “I have witnessed an appreciation of more than three times, over the past two to three years.” According to brokers in the region, Mussoorie has seen the biggest jump in process over the past two years, due to the rise of the hospitality and tourism industries.

  1. Freehold properties

All plotted developments across the state are sold as freehold properties, where mutation and transfer of the property is easy, with the necessary paperwork, informs Sahini. This makes fresh registrations of properties easier for new buyers.

  1. Leasehold model becoming popular

With several hospitality chains entering the market, room rents have also gone up significantly. Thus, a number of second home buyers and investors, now look at these residences as a source of rental income. “The concept of Airbnb-like home stays, have now become popular in Mussoorie and other cities,” explains broker, Govind Negi.

 

Disadvantages of buying a property in Uttaranchal

  1. High property prices in important regions

Most strategically located properties across the hills in Uttarakhand, come at a premium. Moreover, there is a significant difference between ready-to-move-in apartments and under-construction ones. Prices also vary significantly across different regions. While a typical homestay in Mussoorie will come for Rs 3,000 per night, a similar home stay in other remote locations may be available for as low as Rs 1,000 per night.

  1. Not enough new properties

There is healthy demand for ready-to-move-in and old properties, in Uttarakhand. However, the sales volume for new, under-construction properties, is still low in comparison to the old ones.

 

What should buyers do?

There have been several cases of fraud, where unsuspecting buyers have been duped of their money, on the false pretext of an upcoming project. Many such companies in the region, have also been booked by the Enforcement Directorate for fraudulent practices. Hence, buyers need to be careful while looking for under-construction properties.

It is safer to invest in completed projects or resale properties. Also, invest only if you intend to visit the place often or if you have some business in the region. A property in Uttarakhand, with the potential for healthy rental income could be a good investment option for prospective buyers, at the prevalent property rates.

 

FAQ

What should I check if I want to invest in a second home in the hills?

Be very sure to check about the state regulations. Make sure to understand property prices in the region. Deal with only reputed developers who have a sound track history.

Does Uttarakhand have RERA registered projects?

Yes, Uttarakhand has RERA approved projects. Make sure that you check project, developer and agent details on the portal before investing.

Where is the office of RERA Uttarakhand?

Rajeev Gandhi Complex Near Tehsil, Dispensary Road, Dehradun – Uttarakhand, 248001 Phone number: 0135 – 2719500 Email ID: uhudauk@gmail.com, info@uhuda.org.in

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