The global property meltdown may have cast a shadow on foreign roadshows by Indian developers over the last few quarters. But some builders are now going all out to woo Indians living abroad. Their belief - the job market uncertainty overseas coupled with low residential prices back home, will revive the NRI interest in the Indian property market. Property shows. Mr Anuj Puri, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, agrees that despite turbulence in mature markets, the "emotional appeal" of buying a property in India may be stronger now, more than ever. "Another big factor is that the prices are getting more affordable here," he says but points out that many are still waiting for prices to fall further.
According to 99acres, the number of queries from NRIs has surged nearly 15-20 per cent over the last two-three months. However, just how many of these 'queries' translate into actual sales remains to be seen, says Mr Vineet K. Singh, Business Head, 99acres. Ansal Properties and Infrastructure recently showcased its projects at Indian property show in Sydney and Melbourne. It aggressively pitched properties starting from Rs 7 lakh and promised discounts, home loan assistance, and special deals for Australian NRIs and PIOs.
"It is a good time for the NRIs to invest in India. At over Rs 50 to a dollar, the proposition for them is still attractive. Also, there may be NRIs who could be looking to return to India…We are targeting those buyers too," says Mr Pranav Ansal, Managing Director of Ansal API. The company also plans a road-show in South Africa. The Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI) says its property exhibition in Dubai in November-end got an "encouraging response" with 1,100 walk-ins. "We will be organising another exhibition in Mumbai shortly, for which are writing to all those NRIs who had visited and made enquiries at our recent exhibitions abroad," says Mr Pravin Doshi, President of MCHI. However, Parsvnath Developers adds a word of caution. "It is not as if concerns over global real estate market have disappeared. While there are positive factors in favour of buying property in India, I expect the NRI demand to be focused on luxury housing segment. Indians overseas are used to a different lifestyle - and this can be addressed through premium projects," says the Parsvnath Chairman, Mr Pradeep Jain.