Thursday, February 26, 2009

NRI realty investments drop by over 50%

The NRI season is now at its fag end. Despite undertaking tours to the US, the UK and Middle East and doling out freebies and discounts, realtors have been unable to catch the attention of this cash-rich community.

The result: NRI investments in India-based properties dropped by over 50% this season, with the four metro cities and “NRI-heavy” mirco markets in states like Gujarat and Kerala being among the worst hit.

“Compared to last year, the drop in NRI interest in India-based properties has been almost 50% in all sectors. The metros showed a sharp drop in demand, largely owing to the steep prices”, says Sanjay Dutt, CEO - business, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM), a global real estate consultancy firm. “Very few luxury homes have been sold as compared to last year”, he adds.
At a time when the domestic demand in micro-markets in Tier-I, II and III cities began to slump in the third quarter of this financial year, the developers were hopeful that the demand from the NRIs will pep up the sentiments in the realty markets.

However, the global slowdown and the resulting slump froze the bullish sentiments among NRIs. “Though a far-from-spectacular number of transactions have indeed taken place this season, generalised job insecurity and a desire to conserve available cash among IT employees abroad has curbed investment demand for high-end properties, Mr Dutt said adding that the response was “significantly muted” from the NRI community this season.

The sharp corrections seen in some larger cities has also led to an “acute wait-and-watch attitude among NRIs who - just like everyone else - are now very price sensitive”, he explained.

Source:Economics Times