Stock: Gulf News India Property Show
For non-resident Indians (NRIs), gold and real estate asset classes will never go out of style, say exhibitors at Gulf News India Property Show Image Credit: Clint Egbert/ Gulf News

Dubai: Real estate investment as an asset class is the top priority for non-resident Indians (NRIs) at the Gulf News India Property Show.

UAE-based Indian expatriates at the show, which opened on Saturday, December 10, were eyeing top-tier properties, apartments and plots in major cities across India. According to reports, the Indian diaspora purchased property worth $11 billion in 2019. Since then, this category has witnessed a rising trend. In 2022, it is expected to reach $14.9 billion, with the highest-value properties located in Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Pune.

How expensive are properties in India?

To buy their dream homes, expatriates want to shell out anything between INR40 lakh to INR3 crore. Inayath Sait, Chairman of Maxpo Exhibitions, said the average price appreciation of real estate properties in tier-one cities across India is eight to 10 per cent per annum. Sait said that rental returns across the same portfolio of properties are three to four per cent per annum. “Commercial properties tend to fetch higher rental returns,” he said.

Real estate is one of the best asset classes for Indian expatriates in the UAE, especially commercial properties as they tend to fetch higher rental returns.

- Inayat Sait, Chairman of Maxpo Exhibitions

However, land prices, on the other hand, appreciate between 25 and 30 per cent per annum. “It (real estate) is one of the best investment platforms for Non-Resident-Indians (NRIs),” he added.

Nitin Pathak, a finance director for a private firm in Dubai, said real estate is proving to be a steady investment compared to other asset classes. “There is a steady appreciation of properties in India. Owning a property in India can never go wrong,” said Pathak.

India Property Show: Nithin and Indrani Pathak
Gulf News India Property Show: Nithin and Indrani Pathak look for real estate investment opportunities in India

“As an investment, when you compare liquid and non-liquid investments, real estate investment in India is the best bet,” said Pathak, who has a house already in Hyderabad.

Vijay Kumar, a banker in Dubai, was at the show hunting for his second home in Pune. “I was waiting for the market to pick up post-COVID. I am looking for a one-bedroom apartment in Pune for around INR40 to 45 lakhs,” he said.

Kumar said the purchase is clearly based on the need to invest and benefit from rental returns. “The demand for one–bedroom units in Pune is high. I am currently looking for a one-bedroom unit,” said Kumar.

Karan Singh, a business development manager, is looking for a four-bedroom property in New Delhi, NCR. “This will be my second home for investment purposes only. Holiday homes are always in demand in the NCR region,” said Singh.

Girish Nagarajan, a manager for a private firm in Dubai, said he is looking for a property worth INR 75 lacs in Bengaluru. “It will be my second home in which I plan to invest. I have complete faith in the Indian property market. There are other investment platforms like equity and bonds, but the property is more long-term and spells stability. There are guaranteed returns on real estate investments, making the investment more interesting.

Hot projects to look out for

World's first hanging resort under development in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Image Credit: Supplied

Indian developer Nirvana Realty is bringing a unique three-tower project - the world’s first hanging resort with a 360-degree view. The upcoming project is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra and is looking at investment upwards of INR 5crore, with promised returns of INR4 lakhs per month.

Sagar Chheda of Nirvana Realty said: “We guarantee a monthly return and an appreciation on the project. The project includes 16 rooms, two Maharaja suites with Jacuzzi, and fully furnished units.” Investors can also enjoy holiday exchange facility and 14-nights free stay at the resort.