Can NRI Invest in CRE in India?

buy commercial real estate in India

Many people want to know whether an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) can invest in CRE (Commercial Real Estate) in India. In short, an NRI can purchase commercial property in India abiding by the legal guidelines under the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act). But, how to buy commercial real estate in India, the regulations of RBI (Reserve Bank of India) permit Non-Resident Indians to involve in commercial real estate investing to purchase specific types of properties in India.

However, it is also possible for NRIs to buy other types of properties only if they obtain special permissions. Thus, an NRI purchasing property in India must be totally familiar with the legal provisions relating to possessing an immovable asset in India. They should collect information on the determining factors before they invest in India’s real estate sector.   

Let us touch down at the details to comprehend the convolutions of such investment in India:

What are the types of commercial real estate an NRI can invest in?

NRIs who possess valid Indian Passports can invest in residential/commercial real estate in India. RBI’s special permission is not required for these transactions. NRIs do not need to inform the Central Bank about purchasing residential/commercial property in India and they can purchase multiple properties according to RBI regulations and income tax laws. If an NRI investing in commercial real estate in India cannot visit the country frequently, then they can give legal power of attorney on their behalf to other persons to carry out transactions in India.  

What are the types of properties that NRIs cannot purchase? 

The general permission does not allow NRI to purchase agricultural land/plantations in India. This is to say that NRIs cannot invest in farmhouses without getting RBI’s special permission. Usually, RBI’s consent is not guaranteed in such cases. Such applications would be considered only on a case-to-case basis and then correspondingly whether to permit NRIs to purchase such property would be determined.

What is the process for an NRI to buy a commercial property in India? 

  1. An NRI can buy a commercial property in India either individually or mutually with another NRI under the general authorization of the RBI. If they cannot visit India, the most suitable way to purchase such property is by taking on a Power of Attorney.
  2. If they hire a power of attorney, he/she can act as their personal legal counsel. He can also advise on all transactional matters and other formalities as he is a professional in the field. This method is cost-effective and is officially used by many.
  3.  He may well help with the best deals because he is already acquainted with the real estate market and Laws in India. should be appointed only after deciding if the person is reliable.

What are the determining factors for investing in India? 

Commercial Real Estate (CRE) development drivers for NRI investors comprise passive income for the family, portfolio diversification, absence of other safe options, tax-efficient returns, and others. Properties in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Pune are the best three investment centers for NRIs wherein office spaces continue to be the most desirable asset and school spaces appear as a new CRE asset.

Reasons to Invest in Indian Commercial Real Estate (CRE)

The real estate market in India has forever been the favorite of NRI investors. Indian Real estate, particularly commercial real estate, has become a dependable investment irrespective of market cycles. The capital volume that NRIs are investing in commercial real estate shows its proven value as an asset. The main reasons to invest in Indian commercial real estate (CRE) are the growing demand for office spaces, fractional ownership, higher rental value, tangible asset, etc.  

Commercial real estate includes office spaces, business, and retail. To put it differently, commercial real estate is a property that is used for performing business operations. Even with the havoc caused by Covid-19, commercial real estate is a speedy developing market. Here are the top 5 reasons for an NRI to invest in commercial real estate in India.

1. Developing market

India is one of the fast-developing economies in the world. Increasingly businesses are evolving every day and numerous MNCs are enlarging their business in India, which is resulting in high demand for office and business spaces. 

Furthermore, the requirement for commercial offices and other types of working spaces such as co-working spaces is anticipated to increase steeply because of the rush in the number of freelancers and entrepreneurs, making it a perfect choice for investment. To benefit from alluring returns on investment, NRIs can invest their funds in grade-A offices.

2. Steady passive income and cash flow

Commercial real estate is planned to regularly provide dividends to investors on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly basis. Corporates, for instance, MNCs, get a 10 to 20-year lease on the property, which delivers a steady flow of income in the form of rent. 

The requirement for CRE is forever growing and the price of a CRE usually increases. Consequently, the revenue from a such investment will rise consistently.  

3. Fractional ownership

Retail investors can pool funds and buy Grade A properties through fractional ownership of commercial property. Investors can by far share the cost of the property and obtain proportional profit through co-investing. Many commercial real estate investment companies in India present fractional ownership as well as online real estate crowdfunding. They procure commercial properties and pool money from investors and concentrate on maximizing investor returns by growing the net functional income from the property.

Investors don’t need to be anxious about fund management and property care, as the commercial real estate investment company deals with the management and processes of investments in property. 

4. Diversification

It is important to diversify your portfolio to obtain the best possible returns and diminish the effect of market volatility. If you invest only in stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, etc., it will not diversify your portfolio to guarantee a steady income when the market confronts downturns.

Commercial real estate is not touched by the stock market volatility. Therefore, you can invest in commercial real estate if you want to diversify your investment portfolio. In such a situation, if one investment class fails to do well, you can still obtain returns from investments in other classes.

5.Tangible asset

Nothing like stocks, commercial properties are tangible assets. Stocks may offer high value one day but the next day their value may be nil. In real estate, there is great value for both land and infrastructure. MNCs and other large businesses rent properties leased for longer periods so they are a steady investment.   

Even though the value of a property drops, as a tangible asset it will not move anywhere and the property value will never be nil. With nationwide vaccination and a clear decline in Covid-19 cases, economic recovery in the commercial real estate sector is noticeable. Offices are reviving and businesses have started to work from offices with some flexibility.   

Commercial real estate is a constant and steadily growing market in India. So, have you started preparing to invest in Indian commercial real estate and make transformations in your portfolio yet? 

Indian Commercial Real Estate (CRE) is at a growing phase and is ready to offer a high annual return and provides investors with a tangible asset with an alluring appreciation potential over time. This allows useful diversification that aids in getting a beneficial portfolio during volatile times. 

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