Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Indians eye the high-end property market abroad

India's rich have a new accessory to flaunt: luxury villas and high-end homes in exotic locales like Greece and Spain. High net worth individuals are being able to spend their moolah in this way, thanks to the new RBI cap of $200,000 per year on investments abroad.

"Indians are buying homes in practically all configurations, including apartments, duplexes and villas. Luxury homes are no exception,” says Raminder Grover, head, residential Jones Lang La Salle Meghraj.

Echoing Grover’s views, Jayant Varma, real estate analyst and ex-director Knight Frank, says more disposable income in the HNI segment is fuelling the demand.

More importantly, depending on the location, prices are often cheaper than the local market. “Residential rates at Mumbai’s Nariman Point or Cuffe Parade are priced anywhere between Rs 25,000-55,000 per sq feet. For the price of a 2BHK flat in these areas, one can buy a villa in Dubai or London’s suburbs, a luxury flat or a standalone house in New Jersey,” adds Grover.

‘Hot’ destinations include Singapore, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, the US, and a few European countries. Real estate developers like Hiranandani are developing properties in Dubai. Last year, the launch of Anahita villa, a luxury apartment complex in Mauritius, got “bumper response”. South Africa-based Villas Telfair Resorts in Mauritius are offering beach resorts at euros 2.75 to 4 million for Indian buyers.

Says Abha Kapur, who’s planning to buy a house in Chicago, “The main reason is the ratio of black and white money in India which is about 40:60. But elsewhere you pay it all in white and loans are much easily available at attractive interest rates."


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