25 January 2009
The Who's Who of India is looking for Second Homes Abroad
The real estate sector is one of the worst-hit sectors globally thanks to the financial slowdown, but for the well-to-do Indians, this is an excellent opportunity. With property prices falling across borders, buying property abroad is suddenly making sense to affluent Indians. "The property slump is not just confined to India. Prices have crashed considerably in the US, the UK and the Middle East and many Indians are seeing this as an opportunity to buy property there," Mr. Rajesh Goenka, chairman of Axiom Estates, the London-headquartered provider of property services in India, said. So much so, now high net worth Indian investors are being spoilt for choice, sea-facing villas in picturesque Mauritius, studio apartments and country cottages in Britain, condominiums in Singapore, and super-luxury homes in the Gulf. But Dubai is the most sought after foreign locale, say brokers familiar with the latest fad. According to Mr. Syed Mazaz, the Mumbai representative of Dubai-based real estate brokerage, Better Homes, property prices in Dubai are comparable to those in Delhi or Mumbai - starting from as low as Rs.3 million ($62,000) for a studio apartment in the International City project in Dubai to Rs.15 million ($309,000) for a two-bedroom luxury apartment facing the sea. Countries such as Singapore, Mauritius, Thailand and Malayasia - where prices have dropped up to 30-40 percent in recent months - are also attracting Indian investors. In Thailand, a two-bedroom apartment costs around Rs.2.4 million ($49,000), and can go up to Rs.40 million ($824,000) for luxury apartments. In Singapore, this would be in the range of Rs.2.6 million-Rs.26 million ($54,000-536,000) for similar accommodation, while it will be between Rs.3 million ($62,000) and Rs.12 million ($247,000) for two-three bedroom apartments in Malaysia.
1 Jan 2009, The Hindu