Weak Rupee Attracts NRIs to Indian Property

Gordana Davila

June 19, 2013

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According to Mansi Taneja of Business Standard, India’s weak rupee is motivating non-resident Indians (NRIs) to buy properties back home. The decline in the rupee might not be a good sign for the Indian economy but for non-resident Indians, this is the time when they scout for properties back in their country. Cashing in on the opportunity to buy residential units cheaper by up to 20%, NRIs are queueing up big time.

“The enquiries from NRIs for buying property in India have risen by at least 15-20% following the rupee depreciation. The enquiries may go up further once it touches the 60 mark,” said Harinder Singh, managing director, Realistic Realtors.

The number of calls from NRIs have gone up to 800 per month from 200 earlier at Investors Clinic, a real estate portal, as the property prices for them has come down by 20-25%, according to Nishant Singhal, Director – Strategy & Alliances, Investors Clinic. Even before the rupee depreciation had begun, the NRI community had begun stepping up their enquiries in anticipation, according to analysts.

Another real estate portal Commonfloor.com is seeing 10 lakh visits every month, which is double of what it used to get few months ago.

Sumit Jain, CEO, Commonfloor.com, said the NRI traffic was coming primarily from the US and Australia. And the demand is more for high end properties, and Delhi-NCR and Mumbai being the preferred locations.

“With rupee depreciation, slowdown in real estate market and government policies including the one on farmhouses in Delhi, this is the right time for NRIs to invest in India,” Jain said.

To cater to the NRI needs, property portal IndiaHomes has customised its home page specific to countries where a potential buyer resides. It is also planning to open offices in the US, West Asia and South-East Asia by end of the year, where it already services customers through the online medium.

On the other hand, Investors Clinic had facilitated 400 transactions for NRIs last year and average investment per NRI was around Rs 3 crore. 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.

It had 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 who participated in the show include Jaypee Greens, Spire, Mantri Developers, QVC, Vatika and Supertech.

It had earlier organized such a show in March 2013. Singapore has a population of 5.3 million, out of which about ten percent are Indians.

However, there are contrarian views as well.  Joy Sanyal, Head – Development Initiatives, Jones Lang LaSalle India said there is not much traction. “NRIs are much more conservative than local buyers. It is too early to see an impact,” he said.

Property Portal Watch wrote about  how, NRI visitors have contributed to the growth of Property Feast with the top five international locations by unique visitors and growth in 2012/13 originating from the United States with (101%) increase, United Arab Emirates (138%), United Kingdom (75%), Singapore (142%) and Saudi Arabia (135%).

IndiaProperty.com has hosted very successful Gruhapravesh or ‘Property Expo’ which showcases high quality options to NRIs, as have other Indian property portals.

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The above article was sourced from Business Standard, and can be read in its entirety here.

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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.