Ritika Sharma / Emirates Business
If you ask fellow Indians — who form majority of UAE’s total expat numbers — about their investment plans, it is more likely that you will get only one answer — property.
Real estate investment back home has emerged as the foremost preference among Indian diaspora as the number of NRI-owned (non-resident Indian) properties in India is expected to grow further this year.
As per the latest survey conducted by Sumansa Exhibitions, the organiser of the biannual Indian Property Show in Dubai, 43 percent of the respondents opted to invest in Indian real-estate market so that they could build profit on it, as compared to 57 percent who were buying property for personal use. While 22 percent were buying it for the first time, and for 21 percent this was an additional investment.
Srividya Rajan, General Manager, Corporate Sales and Brand Engagement, Sumansa Exhibitions, told Emirates Business, “Because they foresee lucrative returns on investment, an increasing number of Indians are looking to invest in Indian real-estate this year. At a time when the Indian currency (Rupee) has depreciated against dollar, many investors feel the time is ripe to lock their savings in Indian property, before prices again escalate.”
As many as 14,600 NRIs across the UAE participated in the survey which was conducted to understand the reason of buying property in India, preferred cities for investments and budget allocation.
“Moreover, with increasing funding options available, buying an additional property for investment has become an easy choice for Indians. Certain two- and three-tier Indian cities are offering more affordable, yet luxurious property options,” added Srividya.
In an exclusive conversation with Emirates Business, Sudarshan Purohit, CEO and co- founder of Zenify.in, a Bangalore based real estate solutions company, which handles more than 500 properties of UAE-based Indians, said, “The majority of the real estate investment in Bangalore flows from the UAE. We have a substantial number of our customers from the Emirates. Looking at the market sentiments, this year will see an increase in number of NRI-owned properties in India and most of it will come from UAE.”
“Presently we are doing end to end management of hundreds of properties owned by UAE residents, right from finding the right tenant to maintenance work, which allows the owners to remain free and this in turn encourages them to invest more on the properties,” added Purohit, who said that his company rents out 10 properties on a monthly basis which belongs to the Indian UAE residents.
Bangalore and Mangalore – two most popular choices
After the financial capital Mumbai, the other two most popular cities in India for real estate investment are Bangalore and Mangalore, both cities of the Southern state of Karnataka. India’s real estate market consists of around 15 million properties and more than 13 billion properties are in the area (Bangalore and surrounding suburbs), out of which 84 thousand properties are vacant in Bangalore city alone.
“NRI’s chooses Bangalore because the city is India’s Silicon Valley. This translates to a huge number of tenants as many migrants come to the city in search of job or due to their transfers. This increases the property demand for the proper accommodation. Also Bangalore provides UAE NRIs with a good return on their investment,” explained Purohit.
Mangalore has also emerged as another favourite property destination for NRIs in the UAE, finding a place among the top 10 most popular cities.
“Close proximity to Bangalore which buzzes with economic activity has given the city a strategic advantage, which has helped establish a real-estate demand in the city. Besides a popular tourist spot, Mangalore is also fast developing into commercial and IT hub with sound infrastructure. The past few years also saw a number of builders focusing their efforts in coming up with a range of affordable and luxurious property in Mangalore, which maybe one of the reasons in its rising popularity among NRIs,” added Srividya.