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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Realty consultancies are stepping up to help young Indians buy homes abroad

As more first-time buyers explore markets overseas, companies are helping broker deals, explain regulatory systems and tax laws.

real-estate Updated: Oct 27, 2018 19:44 IST
Krutika Behrawala
Krutika Behrawala
Hindustan Times

Indian millennials are buying homes abroad, projects are finding a global audience and realtors are creating branded residences in partnership with high-end labels and consultants – overall, the foreign presence in the Indian real-estate segment is growing.

A sprawling 2BHK flat in Dubai overlooking a golf course, a charming apartment in Singapore or a studio in London – Indian millennials are eyeing properties overseas even as their first buys. And they’re seeking the help of realty consultancies with widespread distribution networks.

“Over the last five years, we have seen a demographic shift in the kind of clientele looking to invest in real-estate options overseas,” says Amit Goyal, CEO of India Sotheby’s International Realty, a luxury real-estate network with brokerages in 70 countries. “The start-up generation has a role to play in changing the landscape, with their high-risk appetite and desire to invest money in luxury homes rather their traditional financial instruments.”

Sotheby’s says it has helped young NRI families purchase their first homes in London, Dubai and Malta. “We see that young entrepreneurs in their late 20s or early 30s, who register their businesses in countries like Singapore and Hong Kong, also prefer having a home in those locations,” says Goyal.

They’ve also tied up with the Indian arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network, for their advisory services. Through knowledge-sharing sessions and webinars, they help clients understand taxes and regulations around the world.

Crossing borders

It’s mainly penthouses and easy-maintenance 2BHK or 3BHK flats that are on the radar of young Indians, consultants say.

“Property prices in New York, London or the central parts of Singapore could be compared to those of luxury homes in south Mumbai or central Delhi,” says Shobhit Agarwal, MD and CEO of realty consultancy Anarock Capital. “Of late, some residential projects in Dubai have come into more or less the same price range as those prevailing in Pune, Bengaluru and the further suburbs of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.”

There’s also growing interest in Sri Lanka, particularly Colombo. Rentals from homes abroad also fetch better returns, says Goyal.


While on the one hand Indians home buyers are looking at investments beyond borders, Indian realty firms are also partnering with international consultancies to market their projects abroad.

Sunteck has tied up with Sotheby’s realty to market its luxury residential project in Bandra-Kurla Complex to a global audience. It will avail of the latter’s distribution network that includes India desks in Dubai, London, Toronto, Seattle and New York and focus on NRIs.

“The fluctuating rupee and introduction of various regulations like RERA and GST to bring in transparency and accountability are making real-estate more lucrative for NRIs. We will give prime exposure to this project at select Sotheby’s auction events and introduce it to the global ultra-high-net-worth clientele,” says Goyal.

However, Agarwal cautions, “Indian laws about foreigners owning property are, to say the least, quite complex. Usually, one would see a foreign entity partly entering into an agreement with an Indian individual rather than being able to purchase a property here outright.”

First Published: Oct 27, 2018 19:44 IST