Overseas investments in Indian realty rocket by 137%: Knight Frank

By: | Published: July 20, 2017 12:29 PM

While domestic investors dominated the real estate industry until 2008, foreign players entered the limelight since 2014, ostensibly following the change in government and courtesy friendlier policies.

 Overseas investments, foreign investments , Indian realty, rise, Knight FrankReal estate being one of the most important investment assets has witnessed a surge in flow of foreign investments.

The Indian real estate has seen astronomical growth in investments from domestic and foreign players alike in the recent past, revealed Knight Frank’s Active Capital report, a flagship global property report that analyses capital flow patterns across world markets, on Thursday.

According to the report, foreign investments in Indian realty rocketed from $3.2 bn during 2011-13 to $7.6 bn during 2014-16, recording a staggering surge of 137%. Capital raised by domestic players was equally healthy. From $1.3 bn it almost doubled to $2.4 bn during the same period.

While domestic investors dominated the real estate industry until 2008, foreign players entered the limelight since 2014, ostensibly following the change in government and courtesy friendlier policies, the report adds.

Dr. Samantak Das, Chief Economist and National Director, Research, Knight Frank India, said, “The global economy has started recuperating with improving job prospects, decline in unemployment rates and rising rate of inflation in the developed economies. Investors in these countries are expecting diminishing inflation adjusted returns. With the strengthening of domestic currency they are finding assets in emerging markets (EMs) cheaper from an investment perspective. India, among all other Ems, has attracted the highest interest of global investors on account of a stable government and implementation of path-breaking reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that would formalize the economy.

Real estate being one of the most important investment assets has witnessed a surge in flow of foreign investments. With the sector undergoing a complete transformation at the back of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) RERA Act 2016, affordable housing focus and the Real Estate Investments Trusts, the domestic investors have also joined the bandwagon.

Accounting for more than 40% of the investments, the US held the largest share of foreign investors followed by Canada (18%) and Singapore (17%). Canadian investors, largely pension funds, forayed into India since 2015.

Mumbai, the financial capital of India, attracted the biggest pie of foreign investments in 2016, accounting for at least 39% of capital flow in the Indian reality followed by the rest of India which accounted for a share of 32%. The share is significant primarily because the hot investments hubs of Gurugram and Noida were included in this segment. India’s Silicon Valley Bengaluru (11%) topped the chart among other metros, followed by Chennai (10%) and Delhi (4%).

The sector-wise analysis for investments in 2016 showed that foreign investors were mostly lured by office spaces and the retail sectors. Collectively the two segments accounted for 72% of the investments, says the report.

The findings were sync with overall global projections which showed that overseas investors were looking beyond global Super Cities. The report added that more than 30% of the total global real estate transactions will be cross border by 2018.

Knight Frank’s data evidences the rise of Asian investors, which accounted for $67 billion of overseas investment in 2016, versus $19 billion in 2007, which is recognized as the peak of the previous real estate cycle.

“Identifying the potential of this sector to create jobs and its multiplier effects on the economy, the government has been trying its best to revive the sector. It would be just a matter of time before this sector realizes and starts delivering on its full potential,” added Dr. Das.

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