Express hot tips: Realty hotspots abroad

Real estate abroad

While investing in property, the thinking earlier was to invest in the city one settled in. With growth in the real estate sector taking off, investors began looking at other promising realty destinations in the country. As needs evolve, and with incomes rising, property investors have began to look at opportunities abroad.

According to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) a person resident in India can acquire property abroad by way of gift or inheritance from a person residing outside India. The Indian resident can also buy immovable property outside India during the duration of his employment in that country.

FEMA also allows the Indian resident the liberty to remit up to $200,000 per financial year, which also helps the person with cash much needed to buy the dream property outside India. That means a couple can invest $400,000 abroad. Let us examine three popular cities where Indians are buying property: Dubai, London and Singapore.


Dubai is an all-time favourite with Indians, owing to its proximity to India, as it is inflation-resistant, and the ease of buying property across all income levels. According to the Real Estate Investment Promotion and Management Centre at the Dubai Land Department, Indian investors have bought a total of 2,153 properties valued at Rs 5,670 crore (3.751 billion dirhams).

Areas like Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai and Marina are among the country's most popular and upscale locations. A 1,500-sq ft apartment in Downtown Dubai costs Rs 3-4 crore.

You need four main documents: a copy of your passport, proof of income for six months, bank statement for six months and credit history for 36 months. A buyer has to pay 1 per cent of the property price as registration charge. Loans are also available, but only for properties that have been constructed. The interest rates are higher at around 10-11 per cent, but are being lowered. The Real Estate Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates keeps a very strict check on the quality of construction, design and material, and the physical and social infrastructure, which is why the buyer also has complete confidence in real estate here.

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