After Kerala Floods, Sea-Side Homes Have No Takers
The Kerala floods of 2018 rendered many homeless. The very thought of the wrath of the raging water continues to haunt the residents. At such a time, real estate in the city is likely to witness a steep drop in the sales numbers.
Those selling their homes are doubling their efforts to attract buyers to their property.
Anil Jacob, a resident of Kochi, has listed his property for sale with a special mention that his apartment has not been affected by the flood. In fact, Ravipuram, the locality where his Rs 70 lakh-worth unit is, was among the areas that were least affected. Jacob says, “We were lucky but given that the disaster was large scale, homebuyers are cautious. They want to inspect and cross-check every minute detail about the unit and the locality.” One of Jacob’s potential buyer was a friend he knew for a long time but he backed out after the floods. At present, Jacob has a few enquiries from non-resident Indians who are keen to buy but are taking some time to close the deal.
Another visible trend is that sea-side properties have almost no takers. Vimal Vincent, a local broker, has noticed that homes that are far away from the sea are in demand. “Prospective buyers have expressed their interest for homes that are far away from the water-bodies. While those from within Kochi were aware of the exact impact in the city, those buyers who have been far away are taking the cautious route,” Vincent said.
In Kerala, Kochi enjoys the locational value. It is close to IT parks, boasts premier educational institutions and proximity to the international airport. For youngsters looking at a cosmopolitan culture and affordable or luxury homes in Kerala, Kochi is the first choice, followed by Trivandrum.
Another local, Stephen Mathew, a homebuyer who recently invested in a unit in Kochi’s Skyline Apartments says that people are generally cautious about investing in a home close to the sea. Coastal properties cannot be left locked for a long time as the insides tend to get damp. Use of metal has to be scrutinised for the fear of corrosion, the windows may sport a crusty or foggy look so these need to be cleaned regularly and many more, reminds Mathew. “After the floods, some buyers feel that taking the pain of regular maintenance plus the risk of flood may be too tasking so seaside properties at the moment suffer,” he added. However, Kochi largely was unaffected unlike the districts of Allepey, Pathnamthitta, etc.
Property prices won't go down unless sellers are in a hurry to sell. Those working in the real estate sector say that given that Kochi was safe largely, there is no reason why property values will be affected. “People temporarily held back from investing because they had to sort out far more important matters such as insurances, vaccines against diseases that have cropped up after the floods, shifting in or moving out of their homes, getting hold of their documents,” Kavish Nair, a broker at Phynome Property, said. “It is just a matter of a few months before the demand gets back to what it has been. NRIs continue to research for the “right” home,” he added.