SURAT: Daman is turning out to be more than just a watering hole for Surtis!
The Union territory, famed for its beaches and sea food, has turned into a real estate hotspot with large number of frequent travellers building their weekend homes here. For high-spirited Surtis, it makes more sense to actually own a property here than spend thousands every weekened to go to Daman.
Harshad Gotawala, a Jari manufacturer from Salabatpura purchased a 1,000 sq ft close to Daman’s Devka beach last year for Rs 15 lakh. “Every time, we would stay in the hotel for two days, the expense would be around Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000. So, I decided to buy a small apartment in Daman. We carry all the spices from Surat, get fresh fish and prawns from local market in Daman and cook food at home. Moreover, whisky and beer are not a problem at all,” said Gotawala.
Like Gotawala, there are many frequent visitors from Surat and other parts of south Gujarat and Maharashtra too, who have bought ‘weekend homes‘ instead of spending money on hotel bills. Some real estate developers from Surat and Vapi have taken up various residential projects to attract the frequent tourists from Surat, Valsad and Maharashtra. The upmarket areas like Devka beach, Dilipnagar, Jampore in Moti Daman have become the hot destinations for buyers.
“Majority of the weekend home buyers are from Maharashtra followed by Surtis. Every second home in Devka beach is owned by either a Surti or a Mumbaikar. They come on the weekends and during the vacation, enjoy and go away” said Shaukat Mithani, a real estate developer from Daman.
Another reason for rates stagnation, Mithani says, was investment by several of the 40,000 NRIs from Daman who now live in UK’s Leicester. Two years ago they started buying property in Daman for investment purpose. However, the Leicester government made loan availibility easy for migrants to divert their investment into UK. An apartment in Daman costs in the range of Rs 2,300 per sq ft to Rs 3,000 per sq ft. Similarly, a 100 sq yard land could cost anything between Rs six lakh to Rs seven lakh.
A Surat-based developer has launched the Rs 50 crore project for 100 weekend bungalows at Varkund in Daman. “Around 60 per cent of the investors are from Surat, while rest from Mumbai and Valsad. A same bungalow in Surat could cost anything between Rs.1.5 crore to Rs 2 crore, which we are offering for Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh,” he said.
Sources said the Mahalaxmi Mata Temple on the NH-8 near Bhilad, some 20 km from Daman, could be the other reason for people investing in the bungalows. The temple has a major religious importance among the Ganchi, Khatri and Darji communities residing in Surat. Every month, thousands of devotees arrive in the temple with their families in the weekend and that they go back after visiting Daman.
President of Vapi CREDAI, Vipul Kakaria told TOI: “Daman is a hot destination for tourists and the craze of weekend homes has picked up in the last few years. Devka and Jampore beach in Moti Daman are the hot destinations. Most of the buyers are from Surat and Mumbai. A 1BHK apartment is available below Rs 15 lakh.”
Credits ET Realty