PANAJI: Goa, to many, is a land of the simple, but when it comes to the real estate market, it is anything but that. With its idyllic charm and party tag, Goa is seen as a prime destination and it is these very traits which are giving shape to two distinct markets within Goa, real estate analysts point out.
"North Goa is more of an investment market, while South Goa, which is slightly more affordable, is for home seekers," said Ravi Ashok Khandelwal, a property analyst with Liases Foras.
According to the real estate ratings and research company, people looking to buy apartments or property as an investment prefer North Goa, as it offers better rental and resale avenues. North Goa is popular with tourists and better developed, and offers better returns when the property is sold or rented out, Khandelwal said.
CREDAI president Jaganath Prabhudesai added, "Basically investors are more in North Goa. The value of a property appreciates more, that is why they will buy in North Goa."
This trend is also borne out by the fact that most mega projects are along the coastal belt of North Goa. Established developers from other states like DB Realty, Gera, Concrete Developers, Prestige Group, Remus Group and Naik Navare are also concentrating their efforts in the northern half of Goa.
Given the sharp appreciation in prices and demand for residential units in North Goa, developers have now begun to expand into nearby areas like Socorro, Sangolda, Pilerne, Saligao, Old Goa and Ribandar.
Cashing in on the destination factor and on the fact that people are purchasing apartments or units with an eye on appreciation, developers are also tweaking their products, by either pricing land at a premium or by offering lifestyle opportunities along with their projects, he said.
According to Commonfloor.com, a real estate site, property rates in and around Panaji stand at around Rs 6,000 per square foot. The rates for Candolim, a popular beach in North Goa are at Rs 5,500 to 6,000 per square foot. In comparison, coastal village Majorda in South Goa fetches Rs. 3,100 per square foot.
Magicbricks.com, pegs property rates in the state capital in the band of Rs 4,800 to Rs 6,500 per square foot. In comparison, rates for Margao hover in the range of Rs 3,800 to Rs 4,800.
The ground reality of the rates could be much higher than this. "Unlike other parts of the country, here in Goa, we don't have fixed rates, so I can't tell a customer that the rate in Panaji is Rs 4,500 or something," broker Samir Mirajkar said. "It depends on the person selling. Then you have the location, facilities, elevation."
The reason North Goa scores better for people looking for diverse investment avenues is the tourism quotient and the lifestyle value which is the hallmark of the Northern beach belt and the suburbs of Panaji, a property analysts states. In comparison, South Goa has fewer projects aimed at such investor.
However, even these investments have cooled off in the last few years, Prabhudesai adds.
Disagreeing with the North-South bias, Nanu Estates, one of Goa's leading real estate developers, feels the difference is because of a preference of lifestyle.
"If you look in terms of Indians buying then yes, they do prefer North Goa because it is a tourist belt and offers better amenities while those people, especially Goans who are looking for a peaceful or relaxed place buy in South Goa," Nanu Estates director Niresh Naik said. "But on the whole Goans or non-Goans are buying both in North and South Goa.
North Goa, with greater access and shopping facilities is much more attractive for tourists because of the resorts, popular beaches, malls and clubs present along the Miramar to Arambol stretch. Even those looking to relocate to Goa from other parts of the country prefer to settle around Panaji and Porvorim, because of the lifestyle opportunities on offer.