Weak ru­pee leads to surge in NRI in­ter­est in realty

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Nam­rata Kohli let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

As In­dian ru­pee plunges and dol­lar strength­ens, it is the Non­Res­i­dent In­di­ans (NRIs) who will drive the home sales rather than the In­dian do­mes­tic in­vestor. Ev­ery­one from on­line por­tals to big de­vel­op­ers to real es­tate bro­kers are cash­ing in on this re­newed in­ter­est of NRIs in the In­dian real es­tate.

How much NRI in­vest­ment is ex­pected in In­dian real es­tate by this Di­wali? Ac­cord­ing to Ankit Kansal, founder 360 Real­tors,a real es­tate con­sult­ing com­pany, “For the en­tire FY 2018-19, we pre­dict an in­vest­ment of around US$ 10.2 bil­lion in In­dian prop­erty by NRI seg­ment. By Di­wali, the in­vest­ments will be around US$ 9 bil­lion.”

Dr. Ni­ran­jan Hi­ranan­dani, Pres­i­dent (Na­tion), Naredco says he couldn’t agree more about the surge in global rather than lo­cal in­ter­est in In­dian real es­tate. He cites the ex­am­ple of year 2012 when the ru­pee fell in value against the for­eign cur­ren­cies, and the NRI buy­ing in In­dian real es­tate movedupfrom 8 per cent of the to­tal sales in metro cities to 25 per cent. He says we have a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion right now in 2018, and Di­wali should see many NRIs buy­ing In­dian prop­erty. The trac­tion that this en­hanced buy­ing by NRIs will bring in the real es­tate mar­ket will boost sen­ti­ment and have res­i­dent In­di­ans pick­ing up choice prop­erty op­tions across the In­dian real es­tate mar­ket.

How­ever the ticket-sizes of NRI in­vest­ments have been re­duc­ing, which shows that NRIs are in­creas­ingly grav­i­tat­ing to­wards more af­ford­able and smaller units.

Says Ni­ran­jan Hi­ranan­dani, Founder & MD, Hi­ranan­dani Group, “At Hi­ranan­dani Gar­dens, Powai, Mum­bai, which is a ‘pre­mium postal code’, we have seen en­quiries for bou­tique

2BHK homes in our new of­fer­ing, At­lantis. As Di­wali comes closer, we find se­ri­ous en­quiries lin­ing up buy­ing in the fes­tive sea­son. The sales team in­forms me that many of those prospec­tive buy­ers who have been en­gag­ing with the sales team, are lin­ing up to buy in the fes­tive sea­son. So, it is re­turn of con­fi­dence in the econ­omy plus safety and se­cu­rity in the new reg­u­la­tory regime plus new of­fer­ings in real es­tate which cater to the as­pi­ra­tional buyer as also the dis­cern­ing buyer, which should see real es­tate move away from lack­lus­tre home buy­ing this fes­tive sea- son.”

Apart from smaller units, there con­tin­ues to be a size­able num­berofNRIin­vestor­swhoare mak­ing pur­chases in the pre­mium seg­ment. Around 20% of the NRI in­vest­ments are cur­rently di­rected into high-end seg­ments.

Do NRIs from the UK, UAE and US show dif­fer­ent trends? The re­search by 360 Real­tors, in­di­cates that the ticket size of NRIin­vest­ments by USAandUK source mar­kets are re­duc­ing while UAE has edged up. The av­er­age ticket size of USA based NRI is 62.7 lacs (yoy change of -15.8%), while for UK based it is 71.4 lacs (-9.5%) and UAE is 89.7 lacs (yoy change of +2.5%).

Off­line prop­erty fairs are passe and what is trend­ing are on­line prop­erty fairs since the tar­get au­di­ence has moved over­seas to cap­ture the NRI in­ter­est rather than just the do­mes­tic buyer. Re­cently Hous­ing.com, which also owns PropTiger.com and Makaan.com, launched a month long on­line home shop­ping festival, Home Ut­sav from Oc­to­ber 1, 2018 to Oc­to­ber 31, 2018. Says Mani Ran­gara­jan, CBO, Hous­ing.com, said, “The fes­tive sea­son has al­ways been en­cour­ag­ing for the real es­tate mar­ket. With the real es­tate ecosys­tem sta­bi­liz­ing in 2018 due to in­dus­try friendly poli­cies like RERA, GST, we an­nounce Home Ut­sav 2018. Keep­ing the buy­ers in­ter­est in mind, the festival will en­able buy­ers make in­vest­ment and home buy­ing de­ci­sions, by bring­ing an ir­re­sistible bou­quet of deals and dis­counts.” From pre­mium slots for de­vel­op­ers and fea­tured bro­ker slots to Digi tours and ex­clu­sive CXO in­ter­views, be­ing a part­ner in this event will en­hance the de­vel­op­ers’ vis­i­bil­ity to users man­i­fold. Ac­cord­ing to Di­nesh Joshi, AVP Sales, Kal­pataru Ltd, “We are de­lighted to be a part of this festival as it will gen­er­ate sig­nif­i­cant home buy­ing in­ter­est both from In­dia andabroad. Wearethrilled to give our best of­fers that help home seek­ers find their dream homes.”

Are there pock­ets of in­ter­est or key mi­cro­mar­kets where NRIsare­grav­i­tat­ing. Yesin­deed. Re­search shows that the in­vest­men­thotspots this fes­tive sea­son in­clude the Dwarka Ex­press­way, Golf Course Road (Gur­gaon), NoidaEx­press­way, Sec­tor 15 and 16 (Noida) in Delhi NCR. In Mum­bai it is And­heri, Thane, Worli, Yo­gesh­wari, Western Ex­press High­way, Powai (Mum­bai) while in Pune it is Kore­gaon Park, Wagholi, Pim­pri Chinch­wad (Pune). Fi­nally in Bengaluru, the ar­eas on NRI radar are Kanaka­pura Road and White­field.

GETTY IMAGES

The ticket­sizes of NRI In­vest­ments have been re­duc­ing

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