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Indian property stable, rupee low; time to invest now

Majority of the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the UAE are paying for their properties, primarily in the price range of Rs4 million to Rs5 million, through own funds, according to a senior executive with a major Indian property developer.

“Majority of our investors from the UAE are buying properties priced in the range of Rs4 to Rs5 million, but we also have clients buying luxury properties worth over Rs30 million,” Mahindra Lifespace Developers Limited CEO Anita Arjundas told Emirates 24|7.

The developer, part of the $16.5 billion Mahindra Group, is currently building 12 projects across the country, and has affordable to luxury properties, starting from Rs1.1 million (Dh63,583) to over Rs40 million.

Anita Arjundas, CEO, Mahindra Lifespace (left) and company Vice-President Marketing Smeeta Neogi.

Arjundas believes the “time is right” for NRIs to buy properties back home, with Rupee now trading at 63.57 to a US dollar.

“First it is the emotional connect. But, if you get down to economics, the Rupee is at about Rs63 to a dollar… again from a NRIs perspective it is good time if you do the conversion.

“Besides, in the last one year prices have been fairly stable. We haven’t seen the kind of escalations seen in the past and therefore there is certain stability towards investing now. At the same time because of the stability there is potential for appreciation over the time particularly if people choose location well, choose corridors well and get into areas, which are upcoming, have good infrastructure,” she added.

For NRIs, in fact, a falling Rupee makes property prices between 10 and 20 per cent cheaper than domestic residents.

The company on Tuesday opened its first international office in Dubai to address the needs of NRIs in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

“Currently, sales from international markets contribute 20 per cent of our total revenues. We want to increase it to up to 25 per cent in the coming years and setting up offices in key international markets will help us to address the needs of our overseas customers,” Arjundas said.

The GCC contributes over 50 per cent of the developer’s total international sales. Going forward, it plans to open offices in Singapore and the United States of America.

She revealed that a significant demand from GCC-based NRIs were primarily for Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, while those in the US and Singapore looked at cities such as Mumbai, Pune, National Capital Region, Bengaluru and Nagpur.

Earlier this month, PropEquity, an Indian real estate data and analytics firm, said Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of the country, was the most attractive real estate investment city followed by Pune.

Mahindra Lifespaces has 12 projects in cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Gurgaon, Chennai and Hyderabad. Its residential and commercial development footprint comprises over 8.92 million square feet of completed projects with over 10.38 million square feet of ongoing and future projects.

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