Look nowhere else, seriously

Look nowhere else, seriously

Bangalore has always been the favoured destination of NRIs to invest on land. Prashanth G N analyses the reasons behind the trend.

Non Resident Indians (NRIs) from around the world find Bangalore an attractive market for the purchase of apartments even if infrastructure is not the best in the country. The NRI interest is high in the post-Christmas and New Year period though they are game to pick up property any time of the year.

There are several factors that make Bangalore attractive. The crucial factor may seem the most frivolous, but it isn’t—Bangalore’s weather influences decision making on the city’s real estate, says Farooq Mahmood of Silverline Realty. NRIs across countries and regions agree that Bangalore’s weather is salubrious throughout the year with spells of hot weather. Scores of NRIs, originally from Northern India, have taken a big interest in Bangalore’s residential landscape owing to the pleasant ambience here.

Anecdotal evidence suggests North Indian buyers could be higher than South Indian buyers, though there has been no formal study to back this perception. But in the overall perception of cities, Bangalore is unquestionably number one, especially when weather is the criterion of purchase.

Cosmopolitan nature

The cosmopolitan character of the city pulls in scores of buyers. Bangalore is more like Mumbai than Delhi with its mix of population—Biharis, North-east Indians, Marwaris from Rajasthan, Gujaratis, Marathis, Tamils, Malayalees, Telugus, Bengalees and Kashmiris. Virtually every major community and caste of India is represented in Bangalore, so much so that Bangalore has only around 33 per cent Kannadigas. Historically, Bangalore has grown multi-culturally and is as progressive and modern as Mumbai.

The information technology revolution in Bangalore completely transformed the real estate scene. Hundreds of offices cropped up in the 1990s and in the decade after 2000. Professionals were being hired from across the country, making Bangalore more cosmopolitan than it already was. The IT sector now sees a huge cultural mix with diverse communities taking up residences in the city. The rapid growth of IT and BPO industry induced rapid and expansive purchase of residential property. Every professional living in Bangalore dreams of an apartment and most fulfil their dreams via high EMIs.

This industry boom explains why Bangalore is preferred for apartments. The permanent presence of the IT-BPO industry has led to the belief that purchase of a residential space in the city would be a good investment.

Global ambience

The IT industry has also spawned purchases from NRIs who want houses in Bangalore similar to their homes in the US. As NRIs stay overseas for long, and travel to India and back to the US, they look for apartments that would replicate all the facilities they enjoy in the US. For this reason, the luxury sector of apartments and villas are doing well in Bangalore. So when a professional comes to Bangalore, he would enjoy the US ambience. There are many others who buy and let it out, though the former is higher in number.

Money matters

There are reasons within the real estate domain itself that make Bangalore an attractive market. The price point at which an apartment is positioned for purchase is very good, say real estate analysts. The Bangalore market is stable and well balanced when it comes to pricing. This stabilised pricing is valued very highly by developers and buyers alike. There are no vagaries to deal with.

The delivery of apartments is also very fast in Bangalore. People have noticed that by and large builders are prompt and there is no delay in handing over the product. The waiting time is less compared to other metros. The quality of apartment is also said to be better than apartments in other metros, but these could be subjective perceptions.
The overall real estate market in terms of demand and supply is relatively stable in Bangalore as compared to other metros, say analysts. This is also why developers are in a competitive mode in the city. They vie with each other to come up with the most attractive offers which helps buyers compare the products before purchase, Credai members say.

The profile of NRIs investing in the city is diverse—from the US and UK to Gulf and South East Asia. Maximum purchases happen from the US and Gulf. The purchases made are mid-range pricing—between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 60 lakh or Rs 40 lakh and Rs 70 lakh, while the luxury lines over a crore to about Rs three crore do well within their market domain and size. New apartments are cropping up near Sarjapur, Marathahalli, Whitefield and Hebbal-Hennur region.

Then there are apartments at the edge of J P Nagar 8th phase in South Bangalore. Within these regions, people buy houses close to office-setups to reduce travel time between home and office. The age groups the NRIs belong to are 33-45 years and 45-55 years.

A rapidly growing professional class, and the rise of neo-business class, who are familiar with stock exchange movements, gives Bangalore the edge in the office and residential space. This reflects Bangalore as a city of jobs. And where there are high number of jobs, investments in commercial and residential spaces are always high.

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