NRI Real Estate and Property Investment in India
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Investment Opportunities in India for NRIs, FIIs

Indian economy has given a feel good factor to the NRIs, especially in the real estate sector. Many avenues are being created as well as schemes being fashioned for them to maximize investments from abroad.

All persons residing outside India holding Indian passports and also people of Indian origin have been granted permission by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to invest in both residential and commercial properties in India. Markets have stabilized and there is an impressive amount of interest in this segment. NRIs are quick to invest in properties in India where they see an opportunity for a good deal.

On the anvil is a single-window investment promotion council planned by the government, which will undertake investment promotional activity. This will involve making extensive contacts with potential investors, lobbying and interacting with individual companies so that the overseas Indian finds a suitable investment environment.

To an NRI, a base in the homeland also brings with it a sense of security. The number of NRIs who are investing in property for sentimental reasons and for better investment returns is quickly multiplying.

The government including RBI and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) has liberalized the rules and regulations for the NRIs to make investment in real estate. Liberalization along with the added advantage of repatriation of the capital invested and even the rental proceeds under the circumstances prescribed by RBI have also encouraged NRI investments in real estate. Capital gains can be taken back after paying capital gains tax. Apart from India being a safe destination, 10 to 12 per cent returns on the investments are assured.

As opposed to earlier times when an NRI had to struggle with Municipal rules, income tax and wealth tax issues, succession legislations for all religions, the Hindu joint family Act, land ceilings and others, these are times that have NRIs being welcomed with a red carpet. The flexibility in rules has elicited an extraordinary response from the NRI community.

The NRI investor can raise finances from financial institutions to purchase an apartment. The Housing Development and Finance Corporation (HDFC) and other financial institutions in India are facilitating the NRI investment in property speedily and efficiently. Though the rates of property tax are slightly different from what Indian residents pay, the NRI also enjoys the same status as any other property owner. NRIs pay property tax to the concerned authorities.

NRIs are considered the safer bet eligible for availing a home loan in India facility to purchase a property in India as they are prompt on repayment. The repayment of the home loan can be made through a normal banking channel by way of inward remittance. For those who earn an income in India through rent, dividends, pension, etc the loan can be repaid by way of direct debit into the accounts of Non-residents (External) [NRE] or Non-resident Indians. The existing balances in the Non-Resident (Non-Repatriable) rupee accounts have been allowed to be credited on maturity to convertible NRE account. This has boosted the real estate business.

The rules relating to investment and repatriation have been liberalized to the advantage of the NRIs. Foreign exchange dealers have been suitably empowered to deal with the matter of remittances. NRIs are free to repatriate in foreign currency their current earnings in India such as rent, dividend, pension, interest and the like based on appropriate certification. Online NRI banking in India and these accounts for NRIs have made life much easier for transactions involved in NRI investment in India.

What has also made NRIs flock to India has been the initiative by builders and real estate dealers to ensure transparency about the projects on offer and fairness in dealings. NRIs consider their investments to be safe and rewarding when they park their money in real estate India.

Many developers in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Pune, Delhi, Gujarat and Kerala have decided to plan expensive projects. The vast majority of NRIs is spread across the globe is one of the prime reasons that a large number of builders and developers are making painstaking efforts to woo the non-resident Indian. The Indian real estate developers are leaving no stone unturned in tapping the overseas markets. High-quality construction in India is attracting huge NRI investment in real estate. The surge in demand came as soon as the investment laws were revised to aid NRIs in moving their investments freely in and out of the country.

Group housing for NRIs is also being contemplated. The general pattern in investment shows that NRIs are investing in residential property in the above average and high segment.

NRIs are welcome to participate in real estate investments by way of huge investments in the construction of residential and commercial projects, SEZs and infrastructural facilities The pan Indian interest in property buying has spawned a new league of businessmen who pitch in for tracking and tracing of property and offer customized investor services to NRIs. Gulf NRIs have been buying property in India over the years to have a good real estate portfolio back home.


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