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After two-year lull, a return of NRIs to Mumbai realty Dec 26, 2017 13:47 IST

by December 26, 2017 General

Mumbai: After a lull of two years, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have slowly started purchasing property in the Mumbai region, developers say.

The reason — the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and a liberal home loan regime, which are together acting as great confidence-boosters.

Interestingly this time, NRIs are focusing on smaller houses instead of luxury apartments. The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), which organised a property exhibition in Dubai early this month where 210 builders showcased projects, saw 13,500 NRI visitors.

“RERA has brought in a new era of transparency in the real-estate sector,” says CREDAI president Jaxay Shah. “This gave the event a strong foundation among the base of NRI buyers.”

Developers are also highlighting the benefits of a post-RERA regime, to try and boost sales. Omkar Realtors has been running an overseas campaign highlighting how the Authority has changed the face of the real-estate sector.

Why NRIs are showing renewed interest

  • * RERA: Builder must now give deadlines for completion of each project. This has eased concerns about delayed possession.
  • * Job insecurity abroad: Amid economic turbulence, more NRIs are planning a possible return to India and it makes sense to have a house to come back to in case they do return.
  • * Subvention schemes: Builders are offering schemes such as 5% to 10 % upfront payment and the rest on possession.

“We are holding seminars, roadshows and events in the US, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, to spread awareness about features such as the fixed deadline for getting possession. This has generated a good response. We have sold 25% of our inventory in our Andheri project, Omkar Lawns & Beyond, to NRIs,” said Rahul Maroo, senior vice-president and head of international sales at Omkar.

Hiranandani Builders says it is seeing a growing response from NRIs to its projects in Thane, Powai and Panvel too.

For years, NRIs constituted 20% to 25% of sales in the Greater Mumbai real-estate market. Over the past two years, this figure had dipped to about 7%, driven by exorbitant pricing, a lack of transparency, frequent changes in rules and regulations and delayed possession.

According to real-estate expert Ajay Chaturvedi, there are multiple reasons for the renewed interest from the NRI community. “There is job insecurity abroad and hence NRIs want to buy houses where they can live in case they decide to return home. Many builders are offering subvention schemes where one has to just pay 5% to 10 % on booking and the rest after possession. These are seen as attractive options,” he said.