The India real estate sector is looking up after many years of tepid growth. Most markets are witnessing brisk business with buyers’ interest growing post-Covid-19 pandemic. Along with domestic buyers, there has been a rise in non-resident Indians seeking to buy property in India, providing a further fillip to the market.
“NRIs have always invested in India but mainly for investment or rental purposes. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck and people were forced to isolate themselves, the community realised the value of having a residential property in their home country for residing permanently in the future. NRI buyers are also considering ‘now’ to be an ideal time to buy a home as they have the opportunity to benefit from home loans at low-interest rates,” Anjana Sastri, Director, Marketing, Sterling Developers, said.
USA leads the pack from where demand for NRI investment is originating. “The maximum NRI demand was recorded from the USA, followed by GCC and the UK,” Anupam Rastogi, Co-founder and head of sales, Square Yards, said.
He pointed out that Bangalore was top among the preferred investment destinations. “Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, MMR and Delhi NCR are some Tier-1 markets that saw maximum traction from the NRI community owing to their excellent chances of capital appreciation in the coming years. Among Tier II and III cities, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kochi are some top choices among the well-heeled community,” Rastogi said.
While ready-to-move-in properties are favoured, the luxury segment is also an NRI target. “Ready-to-move properties with ticket sizes ranging from Rs 70 Lakhs to Rs 2 Crore and upwards are observing higher interest from the well-off folks. The implementation of the RERA, increased transparency in the property market and greater sector consolidation has also buoyed NRI interest in the Indian real estate market,” Rastogi said.
Lincoln Bennet Rodrigues, Chairman & Founder, The Bennet and Bernard Company, said the luxury segment is seeing good interest from NRIs. “NRIs are becoming a force multiplier in fuelling luxury housing demand, which is rooted in factors such as growth in disposable income and a shift in approach to life,” Rodrigues said.
Buying property in India is not a cumbersome process for NRIs. “As NRIs, investing in Indian markets is not a burdensome task as processes and procedures have swiftly moved to online modes offering investors much transactional ease, even if they are across borders,” Rodrigues said.
Increased use of technology is also helping in finalizing deals. “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digitisation across sectors, and real estate is no exception. Developers are now leveraging advanced technology such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality to boost customer experience and drive sales,” Sastri said.
Negotiating a deal from abroad may be a tough ask for many. However, buyers should do their research and hiring professional help while finalizing the deal. “NRIs looking to make a property investment in India should have a fair idea about the financial landscape. They must do extensive research regarding different types of properties and get the papers including encumbrance certificates verified by a lawyer before signing a deal,” Rastogi said.
NRIs should also be careful that they do not fall foul of the foreign exchange regulations. “An NRI buying an immovable property must ensure that the investment does not violate the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the Reserve Bank of India regulations,” Rodrigues said.
An NRI must also consider the taxation issues that arise out of the purchase of property in India.
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