NRI Interest in Real Estate Market in India

Himanshu Jain( Technology Professional) - December 08, 2019 - - 0 |
NRI Interest in Real Estate Market in India

1. NRI interest in the real estate market in India

2. What do the NRIs expect from the developers in form of information, support to close a transaction, paperwork and legal, possession and registry-related help etc?

3. What are the best practices a developer can adopt to ease the information and transaction with the NRI community?

  1. NRI interest in the real estate market in India – NRI Mindset:

Indians settled all across the world continue to maintain a conservative but growth-oriented mindset, irrespective of how successful they are in their lives. Real estate and gold are natural attractions to hedge their spare money against inflation, preserve capital, and receive reasonable and honest returns on their investments. Many NRIs off late have shied away from investing directly in the local stock market due to their time commitment to their professional work, as well as the volatility and possibility of principal loss. Money managers and local banks also do not commit reasonable safe returns. So what are our choices?

While growing up in India, most NRIs figured real estate was the best investment of all time, especially in larger cities. In addition, most NRIs though settled outside of India for a long, are still attached and want India to grow. If they could contribute to its growth with a win-win real estate investment opportunity, there is nothing like it.

NRIs are long-term real estate investors and are not much affected by short-term fluctuations in the market; they know that in the long term, they will win.

  • NRIs perception and reservation towards Indian real estate:
  • NRIs do not follow the Indian real estate market very closely and hence may end up paying higher purchase prices. NRIs are mostly straightforward and lack negotiation skills for discounts and special pricing. Either builder needs to be extremely transparent or NRI should work through brokers for the best pricing.
  • Builders are not honest- there is a vast difference between what they commit to and what they deliver
  • Builders may run away with customer’s money and not deliver at all or with extreme delay
  • Indian laws are not supportive of consumer protection
  • Builders generally siphon one project money to another for quick expansion and personal gains
  • Build quality is never delivered as expectedà leads to a lack of trust in builders
  • Builders always prioritize their interests first before their customers
  • Sophisticated NRI customers have a hard time dealing with builders professionally
  • The effective rate of return is reduced due to the US dollar and INR currency arbitrage
  • Hassles of selling and repatriating money to their home country
  • Indian builders have not clearly understood the needs and challenges of their NRI customers
  • What do NRIs expect from the developers (Developer’s best practices):

Builders should provide honest, accurate, and up-to-date information about the project, including its current construction status and expected delivery. NRIs should feel comfortable with the builder to make purchase decisions independent of being physically present or visiting the site.

Additionally, builders should provide regular quarterly updates to their customers on previously agreed parameters, including financials.

Most builders should engage in proactive conversation if project delivery is delayed due to any reason. They should also build and execute a customer-specific mitigation plan. Most developers don’t do this as it costs with no returns. Most NRIs are understanding, flexible, and accommodative, but should not be taken for granted.

Furthermore, builders should also provide uniform non-discriminatory pricing and promotions for local and NRI customers.

Builders should evolve a simplified transparent process for booking, payments, legal review and advice, registry and possession. This process should require minimal personal visits to complete the transaction.

They should provide optional paid support for the sale of purchased property to selective NRI customers. This includes regular unbiased guidance on when is the best time to sell/cash out, search for buyers and execute the sale.

  • FAQ by NRIs:
  1. Is real estate a good investment in India? Why?
  2. How to determine if a developer is honest and will stand by his commitments?
  3. What to do when an NRI customer is not satisfied in dealing with the developer after purchase?
  4. Should NRI buy through brokers or directly through the developer? How to evaluate and confirm the right purchase price and timing?
  5. How to connect with other buyers and share their experiences, and seek advice?
  6. How can the money be transferred? What are the laws for NRIs, if they are any different than resident Indians?
  7. What extra paperwork is required viz PIO, OCI etc.?
  8. What kind of account needs to be opened in India?
  • Message to Developer Community from NRIs across the world:

On behalf of NRIs, I would like to convey that we are a very vibrant and progressive community worldwide which beliefs in honest real estate investing in India. We have a fairly large capacity and appetite for our investments and are looking to partner with like-minded developers long-term. India is progressing fast, we want to contribute and be part of this exciting journey.

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