By Dr. Niranjan Hiranandan
The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant national lockdown across the global economies have created ripples across all trades and industries, inevitably casting its shadow on the Indian economic growth wheel too. The consumer and investor community has maintained status quo amidst all the geopolitical crisis, trade wars and market volatility looming over this unprecedented COVID pandemic. Indian Government has been resilient in combating the COVID crisis and announced a fiscal stimulus package to cushion the economic damage. The aftermath of the economic impact of lockdown has led the investor community to re-evaluate investment options. As values of the financial products underwent sharp swings, the one aspect which got registered was the fact that the investment in real estate asset class was arguably the safe bet option.
Since buying a house has always been an integral part of an investment strategy; it has emerged as a preferred investment proposition in wake of COVID disruption. Discerning domestic homebuyers as well as global Non-resident Indians have apprehended the importance of buying or investing in Indian real estate – especially an owned house. The COVID distress has raised the significance of buying an owned house on grounds of safety, security and stability amidst the prevailing globally challenging scenario. The unsecured job markets, relocation of working populace, work from home has triggered the need to buy a safe nest back home to secure the comeback living. The NRI homebuyers are enticed to reassess multiple investment options across residential segments from a dual perspective i.e. end-use or return on investment. Indian Developers have witnessed a surge in property enquiries across the locations leading to a higher scope of prospective sales with many favourable factors to make the purchase. NRI’s at a fast pace is evaluating the home buying options from the cities of origin to emerging real estate hot spot locations closer to their hometown.
With options at galore, the NRI is in a ‘pick and choose’ situation. The current market developments like depreciating rupee vis-à-vis global currencies in which NRI draws income, attractive property prices, home loan interest rate at its lowest, easy availability of home loans for a period of 30 years and against 90% of the property value, choices of apartments available, government incentivization in form of credit link subsidy and deal sweetening festive offers augurs well for NRI home buyers to close the deal. The technological advancement with digitalised modus operandi has equipped NRI’s to make the virtual site visit, understand the location and layout with augmented reality and make the bookings via online payment gateways. This ease of doing business virtually has helped to navigate the physical presence challenges and accelerate the translation of enquiry into booking swiftly.
The Indian real estate has witnessed a paradigm shift with the introduction of structural policy reforms like RERA, IBC, GST which has enhanced the confidence index among the global counterparts. These reforms aimed to bring in much-awaited transparency, trust and financial discipline in Indian Real Estate. The streamlined compliance mechanisms, the unveiling of the faceless transparent tax system and baton of Atmanirbhar Bharat have attracted NRI’s to contribute to Nation Building goal.
At Hiranandani Group, we traditionally cater to a large number of NRI buyers; wherein the numbers have scaled up with the recalibrated economic opening. We have been experiencing demand for larger homes with additional flexi space in the post COVID scenario. They also prefer to buy within an integrated township which offers a similar lifestyle quotient along with the convenience of established socio- fabric amenities, world-class civic infrastructure, community living and comfort of the green ecosystem. The Hiranandani flagship projects at Powai and Thane have been offering platters of properties ranging from mid-size to large spacious apartments with ready to move in as well as under-construction options. NRI home buyers can both buy now and enjoy the benefit of steady rental income and appreciation over a period of time or they can invest in under-construction with flexible payment schemes and upgrade at the time of actual shifting to cater one’s own need.
Over the past few months, the bulk of the NRI queries have been logged from the USA, UK and the GCC countries. As the days go by, one expects growth in the number of enquiries converting into the actual sales. As we move along the remaining months of 2020 and beyond, NRI interest in Indian real estate shall remain augmented in comparison to the other vulnerable asset class.
The author, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, is MD and Co-Founder, Hiranandani Group and National President – Assocham and NAREDCO.