Dubai Expat Indians here are certainly doing their part to perfection in pushing India's property market back to its glory days. More among them are now getting into the market to snap up properties — and quite pricey ones at that.
Based on market feedback, the average transaction value on properties acquired by Indians resident in Dubai has gone up by 20-25 per cent over the last 12 months. For sure, a soft rupee and a softer Indian property market have come to the aid of these buyers.
This time the build-up in momentum looks set to continue. An Indian property show held in Dubai last weekend saw a mortgage lender achieve loan commitment of nearly $3 million on the first day. This, according to the organiser of the Times Realty Show, was more than a full month's target for a mortgage lender in India.
‘Very promising' Expatriate Indians are back on track after a gap of two to three years when it comes to purchasing properties back home," said the official with Mindscape Exhibitions, the event organisers. "This may be due to the rupee's decline which resulted in NRIs sitting on comfortable deposits in their bank accounts."
"Compared to 2011, these trends will help increase demand for Indian property by a minimum 20 to 25 per cent during 2012. The first quarter has been very promising."
There is help coming from another source. The Indian central bank has just announced a partial drop in the cash reserve ratio (CRR) that Indian banks must abide by. This would immediately raise the liquidity levels that the banks can now release into the market.
After the series of interest rate hikes that the central bank adopted throughout last year, which made taking out a home financing deal much more expensive, the CRR cut now represents a potential windfall for mortgage providers and property buyers, even expatriate Indians.
"This measure will help banks in releasing mortgage loans," said Om Ahuja, CEO for residential services at Jones Lang LaSalle India. "The liquidity crunch [that was there] in the system was impacting the banking sector in terms of disbursals across all sectors."
Even in the weeks leading up to the CRR cut, high networth Indian investors from the Gulf were becoming active in select cities. "Both the interest levels and transaction volumes have picked up significantly," said Ahuja. "Transactions across major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, NCR and Chennai have dramatically improved.
"In Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai, quality projects are being offered with very limited margins over and above the construction costs by developers. In these cities, serious job creation is happening and demand in the mid-market segment is doing exceedingly well.
"NRIs have started investing in these markets and capitalising on the opportunities they present," said Ahuja.