NRIs Fuel Luxury Real Estate Boom in India, Check What Industry Players Say


India’s real estate sector is witnessing a significant surge in investments from non-resident Indians (NRIs), marking a remarkable shift in the market dynamics. Over the past year, the proportion of residential sales attributed to NRIs has risen sharply, now accounting for nearly 25 per cent of total sales at major developers, up from the pre-pandemic levels of 7-10 per cent.

Key markets such as the United States, Singapore, the UAE, Australia, and Saudi Arabia have been instrumental in driving this growth.

Real estate developers have responded by creating dedicated teams to assist NRI buyers. For instance, DLF’s recent project in Gurugram saw 25 per cent of its sales from NRIs, contributing to an overall NRI sales figure of ₹3,400 crore for the fiscal year 2023-2024. The appreciation of the dollar against the rupee has further incentivized NRIs to invest in Indian real estate, making it an attractive proposition.

Ravish Kapoor, Managing Director of Elan Group, emphasized the wealth of opportunities for NRI investors in Indian real estate. “Indian real estate has always been a market brimming with opportunities for NRI investors. The surge in interest from High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNIs) and NRIs in luxury housing has significantly strengthened the market. Over the past few years, there’s been a noticeable rise in the number of NRIs seeking to purchase homes in India, which has led to increased demand,” he noted.

Kapoor added “Our luxury residential project, The Presidential, located on the Dwarka Expressway, has attracted significant interest from the NRI community, particularly from the United States, the United Kingdom, the UAE, Australia, and Singapore”

A recent survey by India Sotheby’s International Realty found that a growing number of high net-worth individuals (HNWIs), many of them NRIs, plan to purchase luxury real estate in India over the next two years. The depreciation of the rupee against the dollar continues to make Indian real estate an attractive investment for NRIs.

According to a report by NoBroker, NRI investments in India’s real estate sector are expected to contribute 20% by 2025. This growth is driven by both monetary factors and emotional ties to the homeland. While sentimentality has always been a key factor, the availability of high-quality real estate in India now provides a solid investment rationale.

Sharing his insights, Vivek Singhal, CEO, Smartworld Developers, added, “The Delhi NCR region, particularly Gurgaon, has become a prime destination for luxury real estate, driven by a growing demand for high-end lifestyles and lucrative investment opportunities. The influx of NRI investments, alongside the region’s economic stability and growth prospects, has significantly boosted the market. India’s real estate sector currently presents compelling investment opportunities with attractive rental yields and long-term capital appreciation.”

He added that the appeal lies not only in the financial benefits but also in the promise of sophisticated living environments featuring spacious layouts, ample natural light, and outdoor spaces for relaxation and recreation. This trend underscores India’s position as an appealing and promising destination for real estate investments among both domestic and NRI buyers.

Delhi-NCR and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) remain the top choices for NRI investors, but other smaller cities are also experiencing increased demand due to their cosmopolitan lifestyles, world-class educational institutions, and thriving start-up ecosystems. NRI buyers typically seek properties priced above ₹1 crore, indicating a preference for high-value investments.

Adding to this, Shashank Vashishtha, Executive Director, Exp Realty India, added, “The real estate sector in India has experienced a remarkable increase in foreign institutional inflows, and this substantial growth can be attributed to structural and policy reforms that have enhanced transparency and ease of doing business within the sector. Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are increasingly optimistic about the Indian market, which has outperformed competitors in numerous countries, including developed ones.”

Considering that the GCC is home to approximately 7.5 million NRIs and expatriates, the potential is immense. India has become and will continue to be an attractive destination for “back home” demand due to its strategic location, promising policy outlook, favorable currency rates, and indexation benefits, he added.

The post-pandemic period has seen the share of NRIs in local residential real estate more than double, underscoring the enduring appeal and growing significance of this segment in India’s real estate market.

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