NRI investment back in Indian real estate sector – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/invest/nri-investment-back-in-indian-real-estate-sector/articleshow/88618629.cmsSynopsis

The pandemic has played a significant role in changing the perception of home-ownership for all, especially for the NRIs who look to own a home in their native place.

Nish Bhatt

Founder and CEO, Millwood Kane International, Contributor Content

Bhatt has been in the global real estate investment business for over 25 years. Initially, building up his own portfolio to 150+ units globally he has focused on consulting global clients over the past decade.Real estate has always been an investors’ favorite asset class– domestic as well as international. The rich and famous desire to have their abode in other countries. It helps to set up an international base for their evolving business outside the home country. Over and above this, some recent events have altered the landscape for the real estate sector in India. The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have disrupted the trend of purchase, rentals, and leasing of Indian real estate. As per a research report by CII-Anarock “Indian Real Estate Vision 2025, the softness in prices of real estate and falling currency lead by the COVID-19 pandemic has attracted a lot of investment from the NRI community”. As soon as the borders opened after the first lockdown last year, there was a remarkable uptick in queries on buying real estate in India showcasing a large demand for spacious homes that ensure the holistic well-being of the occupants.

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The pandemic has played a significant role in changing the perception of home-ownership for all, especially for the NRIs who look to own a home in their native place. Several state governments have announced measures to boost demand. Citing high-demand real estate developers have announced a slew of new projects. The resurgence of cases and the fact that the pandemic is here to stay for quite some time has made the NRI buyers cautious to make calculative decisions and opt for self-occupancy rather than renting out an apartment while traveling to their home country. This has been a key factor in driving sales and paved the way for buyers to return to the market.

Uprising NRI investment in India
According to a report released by 360 Realtors, NRIs invested $13.1 billion in the Indian real estate market in FY21 and the inflow is likely to grow 12% to reach $14.9 billion in FY22. Apart from low prices, favorable currency movement, technology has played a key role in enabling NRIs to purchase property in India without being physically present, given the virtual tours organized by the developers, digital inspection of the property layouts, submitting documents, following paperwork procedures all at the click of a button.

Self-use over renting out
NRIs have traditionally been known to purchase properties in India as an investment using for rental purposes. The pandemic has come as a wake-up call for the Indian population settled overseas as they realized the value of having a home in their country of origin with the goal to have a secured second home or the vision to settle in at some point in the future. Many companies have offered their employees to permanently work from home, some have offered a hybrid work model. Therefore, buying real estate signifies a rewarding as well as a sentimental solution for NRIs.

Shaping the growth of luxury housing
The work-from-home trend has also boosted the demand for bigger homes. NRIs prefer spaces that are spacious, open, green, contemporary features such as temperature-controlled pools and Electric Vehicle chargers, contactless entry, electrical devices connected to a mobile phone, close proximity to health and wellness amenities, access to malls/supermarkets, connectivity to airports and safety. Moreover, ready-to-move-in properties with lavish designer interiors and projects on the verge of completion are most preferred by NRIs.

Regulations help boost confidence
Following a slow start at the beginning of the pandemic, the real estate sector was successful in deflecting the Covid-19 curveball, demonstrating noteworthy resilience and registering remarkable sales in 2021, which has set the tone for a promising revival in 2022. The rise in sales was aided by several state governments slashing stamp duty and the interest rate on home loans falling to a nearly two-decade low level, ease in investment norms, depreciation in the Indian Rupee that have prompted people to invest in real estate leading to improved demand. Additionally, the work-from-home situation is seemingly becoming a way of life at least for another few months due to the lingering fear of the third wave.

It is unlikely that the threat of the third wave will deter the intentions of the NRIs/HNIs and investors at large as people are vaccinated, extra cautious, and well-informed as far as fighting the adversities and planning their way around uncertain times. Having taken notes from the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, the real estate industry has capably overcome challenges by employing strategies that attract buyers and investors. Given the enhanced importance put upon having a home during the pandemic and the increasing activity of NRI homebuyers, the consumer sentiment is projected to be high in 2022 providing the sector an overall positive outlook.

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