Investments in realty attractive option for NRIs

At a time when the global financial crisis is impacting the real estate sector across the globe, NRIs are invariably in a dilemma about where to put their money in real estate.

The local accommodation laws in countries like Dubai have compelled thousands of expatriate Indians to send their families back home due to soaring housing costs.

This is why it makes sense for expatriate Indians abroad to invest in Indian real estate to meet any contingencies. Barring Dubai, West Asia does not encourage expatriate investments in housing.

Anyway, not all NRIs can afford to invest in local housing. There are different kinds of NRI investors looking for investments in real estate back home.

What is ideal for one group may or may not fit in to the investment category for others. However, a cursory glance at the options will enable them to take a pragmatic approach to the investment exercise.

The government regulations prohibit investments in categories like agricultural land, farmland/farmhouse and plantation properties. Those who have inherited such property from relatives can retain them.

But to dispose them off, one needs to follow certain ground rules laid down by the authorities. For NRI end users who are planning to eventually return home, investments in residential property would be the best option.

As NRIs have been accustomed to living in places with good infrastructure facilities, investments in housing should be in cities which have educational, health and reemployment opportunities.

NRIs could plan well to invest in greenfield projects which will reduce upfront payment liability. Home loans are available and banks have branched out to several countries to extend facilities to NRIs.