Saturday, January 25, 2014

Reasons why NRIs prefer investment in Indian Real Estate over stock market, NRE/NRO accounts, and bonds

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Continuing with the discussion about Non Resident Indians and their propensity for investing in various investment classes, we recently conducted a survey among NRIs and asked the following question:

“Fall of rupee opens up new vistas for NRIs to invest in India. Which asset class is more likely to see increased investment activity?”

About 43 people responded and 27 chose real estate as the preferred investment asset class, the second preferred choice was NRE/NRO account with 12 people opting for it.

What could be the possible reasons for these results?

Also, have a look at our research report showing returns on investment classes such as real estate, gold, bond, and stocks.

  • Volatile stock markets

Let’s face it. For last 2 years, the stock markets have been volatile to say the least. With growth slowing down and investment climate at its low due to poor policy making on part of the government of India, investors are looking for assets that are less risky. Unless, the investment climate gradually improves, we may continue to see retail investors abandoning stock markets and invest in relatively risk free asset class such as real estate or bonds.

  • Low returns on bond markets

Bonds are risk free and therefore, returns are lower. However, bonds continue to provide stable return over a period of time and many prefer stability over high returns. With volatile stock markets, Indian investors are either preferring real estate or bond market. Non Resident Indians have been no exception to this rule.

  • Rupee depreciation

In last 2 years, rupee has fallen substantially. This presents NRIs with an opportunity to invest in Indian real estate. Because of falling rupee, real estate looks attractive to NRIs and they are able to get property at almost 20% discount. For example, if one were to invest rupees 1 crore in commercial real estate such as Office Space in Gurgaon or housing in Chennai, he/she would have paid about 200000 USD. And since the falling of rupee, the same real estate would cost 170000 USD to an NRI. This is a major factor why real estate prices are still not coming down in India despite the sluggish demand at home. With money flowing in from NRIs, real estate prices are stable, if not appreciating.

  • Family considerations

For people living abroad, there is the comfort factor that some of their relatives either parents, siblings are in India. And this leads them to buy a piece of real estate, which can be used in times of need for parents or siblings. Many also cherish the dream of returning to India one day and investment in real estate gives them the luxury to come back without worrying about housing or relocation.

  • Hedge against inflation

Real estate has always been a preferred investment destination for Indians. It not only provides them with the availability of land or housing, but at the same time hedges ones savings against inflation. With low interest rates offered in deposit accounts, many prefer locking their money in real estate in order to hedge against inflation.

Our research shows that of all the various kind of investment vehicles, returns on gold and real estate have yielded better results over a 6 year period.

Have any Questions?


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