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Weak rupee draws NRIs to Indian realty

Last updated on: June 20, 2013 09:32 IST

Weak rupee draws NRIs to Indian realty

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Mansi Taneja in New Delhi

The recent weakness seen in the value of the rupee might be bad news for the Indian economy but not so for non-resident Indians scouting for property back home.

Cashing in on the opportunity, they are queueing up to buy residential units up to 20 per cent cheaper.

“The enquiries from NRIs for buying property in India have risen by 15-20 per cent following the rupee’s depreciation.

“The enquiries might go up further once the currency touches the 60-a-dollar mark,” said Realistic Realtors Managing Director Harinder Singh. Eager to hardsell the Indian real estate story, Singh said: “It is the most advisable time for NRIs to invest in India’s property market.”

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Image: An aerial view of a central district of Mumbai.
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters

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Investors Clinic, a real estate portal, has been receiving about 800 calls a month from NRIs, compared with 200 earlier.

According to its director (strategy & alliances), Nishant Singhal, this is because property prices for them have come down 20-25 per cent.

Even before the rupee’s fall had begun, the NRI community had begun stepping up their enquiries, in anticipation, say analysts.

Another real estate portal, Commonfloor.com, is getting about one million visits every month -- double the number seen a few months ago.

Its CEO, Sumit Jain, said the NRI traffic was coming primarily from the US and Australia and the demand was more for high-end properties.

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Photographs: Reuters

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“With the rupee’s depreciation, slowdown in real estate market and government policies, including that on farmhouses in Delhi, this is the right time for NRIs to invest in India,” he added.

Delhi-NCR and Mumbai are still the most preferred destinations for NRIs to buy property, say property brokers.

IndiaHomes, a property services company, says the increase in the number of enquiries from NRIs for buying properties is across segments.

“There is an immediate spurt of interest for buying property in India but whether this would translate into actual transactions will be known only after some time,” said IndiaHomes Vice-President Manish Mehta.

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Photographs: Reuters

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To cater to the NRI needs, the firm has customised its home page specifically for countries where potential buyers resides.

It is also planning to open offices in the US, West Asia and Southeast Asia, where it already services customers through the online medium, by the end of the year.

Investors Clinic had facilitated 400 transactions for NRIs last year and the average investment per NRI was around Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million).

It already has offices in Singapore and Dubai to tap the huge NRI market and offer customer care services, as well as facilitate loans from various banks, for its overseas customers.

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Photographs: Reuters

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It also organised ‘The Indian Property Show’ in Singapore in May this year.

The fair witnessed a footfall of about 400 NRIs and 30 properties were sold in the two-day event.

Six developers -- Jaypee Greens, Spire, Mantri Developers, QVC, Vatika and Supertech -- participated.

However, there are contrarian views as well. Joy Sanyal, head (development initiatives), Jones Lang LaSalle India, said there was not much traction.

“NRIs are much more conservative than local buyers. It is too early to see an impact,” he said.

(With inputs from Raghavendra Kamath in Mumbai)


Photographs: Arko Dutta/Reuters

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