Visitors at a recent Indian Property Show in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Mumbai may still be the first choice pick for expat Indians looking to acquire property back home, but the southern metropolis of Bengaluru is fast closing the gap. The latter was the firm favourite among 24.35 per cent of NRI respondents in the UAE who took part in a poll to identify where they would prefer buying residential property in the coming months. Mumbai topped with 31.86 per cent.

Chennai and Pune took joint third place, while Delhi was at fourth. They were followed by the likes of Kochi, Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad and Gurgaon, according to the survey conducted by Sumansa Exhibitions, organiser of the Indian Property Show.

“Bengaluru’s property market bucked the trend in other metros with many new launches, good demand and resilient prices,” said Sunil Jaiswal, CEO of Sumansa Exhibitions. “Experts predict that residential property in the city will remain a good bet for 2014 too.”

“It is the third-largest real estate investment hub for high networth individuals and tops the list in terms of investments from NRI looking at settling down in India in the future. With a high net-worth individuals’ population of about 10,000 — the third highest in the country after Delhi and Mumbai — Bengaluru’s super-luxury segment is also worth watching.”

That is exactly the space Singapore headquartered Raffles Residency Pvt Ltd, is aiming for. It is holding a roadshow in the UAE this week to showcase the ‘Raffles Park’, its first project in India and strictly meant for those with lots of spare cash.

Located in the Whitefield area of Bengaluru, Raffles Park will have 61 five-bedroom luxury villas and costing $1 million. “The UAE-based NRI is a discerning customer exposed to the best projects in the world,” said Iqbal Jumabhoy, joint promoter at Raffles Residency. “We are aiming at a community comprising of residential who are urbane, international in their outlook, who would want to live in our villas.

“The price-point of Dh4 million is accessible to professionals who have been living in Dubai, as this compares with the prices of three-four bedroom townhouses in Dubai.”

The first phase is meant for delivery in 2016. “We believe in offering fewer products of good quality rather than spreading out and having to compromise,” said Jumabhoy. “The aspirations of a large proportion of the Indian population have changed, and they seek residences that are elegant and meet global standards in terms of facilities and infrastructure. It is this end of the spectrum that we are best positioned to service, which is what we are attempting to do.

“The fact that the Indian rupee is getting stronger is all the more reason to invest, and invest now, as the value will only keep increasing. Today, there is a promise of a better economic environment in India which makes an investment a healthy option. Right at the onset, we had factored in the potential for rupee strengthening, and as such, it is not going to affect our plans.”