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Why to invest in properties abroad?

CHROMOHOMESseeks answers from GAURI KHAN, who being the brand ambassador of International Real Estate Expo (IREX) 2016, was in New Delhi to add that extra glamour to the mega property show


Why did you choose to be the brand ambassador of IREX?


IREX approached me for the project based on the work my company, Gauri Khan Designs, has been doing with design and luxury interiors. It seemed a synergistic fit.


IREX presents investment avenues for HNIs and wealthy individuals who intend to invest in international real estate and premium luxury properties. Please elaborate.


IREX 2016 is a property fair focussed on Indians who are looking to invest internationally. The fair presented over 125 projects in residential, commercial, retail, hotel and leisure sectors, from 35 companies across the world. The show drew a great response from investors.


With downturn in the Indian real estate market, don’t you think even exploring new avenues to invest doesn’t sound well?


I am told that due to the downturn in the Indian market, investors are in fact looking at new avenues to invest. The stability of the Indian rupee and relaxation of RBI rules that permit Indian residents to invest overseas further created an investment climate favourable for international real estate.


Please give us an overview of all the showcased projects in the expo. 


Major participants included Al Marjan Island, Damac Properties and RAK Properties from UAE, Berkeley Homes and Ballymore from UK, Lennar & Compass from USA, McMillan Hathaway from Australia, Patrocolos and Korantina Homes from Cyprus, Dusit Thani from Sri Lanka, Angel Real Estate from Thailand, among others. They offered apartments, villas and beach front properties.


How do you analyse potential investment options and prospects in real estate abroad?


While investing in international properties, the investors are looking for market appreciation, rental returns or just a place to serve as a second home. With investment options ranging from Rs. 2 crore onwards and easy payment plans offered by the developers, there are deals aplenty for investors with various investment levels.


Various reports and studies suggest that Indians are the top investors in the property market abroad. What makes this an interesting prospect for Indians to invest?


Indians are the largest investors after Chinese in international properties. Indians have invested in properties in UAE, UK and Australia in a big way.  As per the recent wealth report of a reputed London based firm Knight Frank, India’s high net worth individuals are heavily investing in real estate in other countries; and their numbers have grown 166% in the last 10 years. Almost 50% of all India’s UHNWI & HNI have foreign real estate in their portfolios, which is highest in the world.


Apart from celebrities and corporates, common people from India have also started investing outside India. How does the IREX get to cash-in on this momentum?


Mostly, the common people invest for attaining Permanent Residency status in USA, Cyprus and various other destinations. The US EB5 programme fast tracks green cards for people investing USD 500,000 or more. Others have done it in properties which are available for below Rs.1 crores available in Florida. Some have invested in Dubai budget properties with long term payment options where they get to pay in instalments over a three to five year period. At IREX we had properties on offer for all budgets.


How far do you think the investors have gained insight to take informed investment decisions in this second edition of the property show?


We organised an investment forum where international real estate experts presented various potential investment options and answered queries on real estate investment abroad. IREX also hosted a panel discussion on ‘Buying a home overseas’ with participation of leading international property developers, real estate, taxation and legal experts from all over India conducted by Manisha Natarajan, executive editor, business & real estate, NDTV. It is the second edition of our show and it will take time for everyone to understand the potential of investing in international properties. At the show, we also conducted a programme for Indian brokers which was addressed by international developers and property companies to make them aware of all aspects of investing in properties abroad.


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