San Jose, Calif. − Bay Area Indian Americans keen to buy into their homeland got a crash course in property investment at the “Realty India Expo 2014,” held at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel here Aug. 23 and 24.
Home sales have been slow in Asia’s third-largest economy over the last couple of years as high inflation and interest rates have deterred home buyers. But with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election triumph and his promises of economic revival, business confidence is buoying home buyers, said M.I. Sait, chief managing director of Mindscape, the company that organized the real estate fair.
“It is the right time to make an investment as prices are right for buyers and there are several great housing projects that people can choose from. We’ve hand-picked 30 top builders with housing and commercial projects across several Indian cities and we’re seeing a lot of interest among potential buyers. There is a strong interest in India real estate but often there is lack of information about loan, pricing trends, builder background, etc.,” Sait told India-West, adding: “We’ve bridged this information gap by bringing reputable builders to the Bay Area. People are meeting them, asking tons of questions, getting first hand info – they leave happy and well informed.”
Among the builders represented are names like Adani Realty, Dhillion Group, Hiranandani Group, Kanakia Group, Brigade Group, Godrej Properties, and L&T Realty. The scale and quality of housing projects awed several visitors.
“Housing in India, especially in metros of Delhi, Bangalore etc., is simply superlative. The amenities and the overall architecture is at par with the likes of North Park or Santana Row. I am looking at homes for investments and I was able to get a lot of good info for my preferred city Mumbai,” said Vishal Mehta, a Sunnyvale resident.
There are an estimated 25 million overseas Indians across 130 countries, and builders are aggressively marketing to the affluent community with many throwing in discounts, and added luxury amenities to the home packages.
Sharad Chaudhary from the Adani group said, “Bay Area buyers are looking for security and amenities when choosing a home. Several want to make an investment that gives good returns in reasonably short period, others want a second home. Overall, the sentiment is good. People are positive about real estate being a good option to park their money, especially in the wake of the new government coming to power back home.”
The Securities and Exchange Board of India recently approved Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) to be set up and listed on Indian exchanges. The much-awaited move will open up financing in India’s cash-strapped real estate sector. REITS are like mutual funds but for property and are being touted as another lucrative option for NRIs to put their money into.
V. Nagarajan, editor of Priya Publications, a real-estate focused publisher, said the reforms coupled with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal to build 100 "smart cities" means trillions of dollars will be pumped into the nation’s infrastructure and consequently the real-estate sector.
“With due diligence they can really benefit in real estate; laws and rules have never been more favorable for buyers, especially NRIs. We’re seeing Bangalore, Hyderabad as the favored destination for Bay Area buyers,” he said.
The expo was presented by The Times of India.