By Mr. Sanjeev Arora (Director- 360 Realtors)
The farmhouse culture has been prominent in India for a long. Farmhouses have been a great gateway to bond with nature and enjoy quality time in the country, known for rich natural reserves, extensive flora and fauna, and beautiful landscapes. Since the 80s and 90s, rich Indian households have taken special pride in developing their farmhouses in beautiful locales. It has always been a great avenue to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, socialize with friends and families, and recharge your mind & body.
The farmhouse culture in India has further got a shot in the arm during the recent pandemic, as there has been a spurt in demand for farmhouses and other complimentary products such as gated villas, second homes, cottages, etc. Amidst the rise in remote work/work from home culture, many households now prefer to shift to some tourist spot or city peripheries and work and operate away from congested city lives. Due to the hybrid working models, many now use such properties as weekend venues. Interestingly, apart from the HNIs, the emergent Indian high mid-income class, which includes corporates, artists, media professionals, tech entrepreneurs, lawyers, consultants, etc., is gravitating towards such a product segment.
Though the market is fraught with ultra-luxury farmhouse properties, there are also farmhouse-styled projects available in the sweet spot of 2- 3 crores, thereby luring the attention of new buyer segments.
Meanwhile, the ones who can’t afford to buy farmhouses now opt for long leases and work amidst tranquillity and scenic natural beauties, thereby making farmhouses a go-to investment asset as well.
The Rise in Serviced Amenities in Farmhouses
The concept of farmhouses primarily connoted a cottage-styled home in the middle of a piece of farmland alongside a few sports and entertainment options such as a swimming pool, volleyball court, etc. In the classical set-ups, people used to prefer a large decorated deck area to enjoy the sunset (and sunrise) while sipping a fresh cup of tea and coffee. Farmhouses were more about being relaxed and enjoying lazy breaks from regular work lives.
Today, farmhouses are more than a spot for just relaxation and passing time amidst nature. There is a growing emphasis on community-styled living augmented with serviced amenities and neo-modern facilities. Farmhouses and second homes are increasingly looked up to as the extension of one’s lifestyle and the same is reflected in their features and facilities.
The transformation of the farmhouse is also rooted in the development of farmhouses as large-scale projects rather than stand-alone units. Major developers such as Tata Housing, Kalapataru, Axon, Lodha, etc. are venturing into the space to tap into the rising popularity of the segment. This is also reshaping the concept of the farmhouses with added layers of services and facilities.
For instance, AXON is developing gated farmhouse projects across Sohna (Gurgaon), Goa, and Nandi Hills (near Bangalore). The project will have a host of globally benchmarked amenities such as chef on demand, laundry services, doctors on call, remote-controlled security, and much more. The idea is to give a truly top-class experience to the residents. The objective is to strike the right balance between sustainable living and modern dynamism.
Near Hyderabad, Organo is developing a farm-style eco-living housing project. In Kasauli, Tata has come up with gated villas facing the beautiful Himalayan foothills.
The Wellness & Fitness Hubs
Farmhouses are also transforming into wellness and fitness hubs with new valued added facilities such as meditation and yoga training, Reiki classes, acupressure courses, etc. Likewise, buyers now prefer modern gyms and a lot of other sporting and fitness facilities either in-built in the farmhouse unit or available in the community.
As many people stay in farmhouses for a longer duration with their friends and families, they prefer a host of leisure activities to keep everyone engaged. There is a growing demand for nature walks, cooking & bakery classes, eco-farming, organic farming, vineyards, etc. to make their stay memorable at the venue.
In a nutshell, people want more these days, rather than just pure vanilla-style living. Modern-day farmhouses are going to be very different in the coming times. As the demand for a perfect work-life balance continues to take priority, the clamour for farmhouse-style living driven by amenities will continue to fuel the popularity of this segment.