India today has one of the fastest growing economies in the world despite a slowdown. The number of billionaires in India is increasing rapidly. They are obviously not looking for but are becoming increasingly visible in the international real estate markets. Indians are now among the top five international real estate buyers in the US. According to a study conducted by Kotak Wealth Management and Crisil Research there are over 100,000 ultra high net worth individuals in India. The figure is projected to more than triple by the year 2017-18. The billionaires in India possess wealth which is greater than the economy of its neighborly countries.
The popular destinations for the ultra rich Indians are Singapore, London and Dubai. The Indians found the valuations during the economic downturn an investment opportunity and they moved in to pick up luxury properties abroad. Knight Frank’s The Wealth Report 2013 also highlights the fact that prime residential and commercial property attracts investors in times of economic and political turbulence. The trend is more pronounced in relatively risk-free locations. These interventions by rich Indians is helping the recovery and breathing new life into previously moribund markets such as Dubai and Dublin. A lot of these Indians have children studying abroad and they are looking for a second home or a place to holiday in. Education- and business-related interests are the major drivers behind such acquisitions.
The Indians today are much better informed about the international markets. A lot of Indians are working outside India and buying a home in the country of their employment makes more sense than buying a home in India. However, with the weakening Indian Rupee the Reserve Bank of India has stepped in to restrict investments outside India in an attempt to stop outflows of dollars. The move has made the buyers more cautious but it is expected to be a temporary measure. The trend seems to be irreversible now as buying property overseas has become attractive to Indian buyers because residential real estate prices in Mumbai are now on par with those in cities such as Dubai, Los Angeles, Miami, Rome and Tokyo.