Rupee depreciation may boost NRI investments in realty sector

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MUMBAI: The depreciation in rupee provides a psychological boost to both non-resident Indians as well as developers, real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield said.

On Wednesday, rupee depreciated to an all time low of 60.72 against dollar. Today, it recovered at bit to 59.36 level.

“If the rupee maintains its current levels, developers could see more interest from NRI buyers as long as the capital value levels are also maintained and do not see a big hike during the period,” company’s Executive Director (residential) Shveta Jain said in a statement.

At current rupee levels and sluggish market conditions in many markets that are expected to remain that way for the next few months, NRIs could possibly benefit substantially from some attractive options available in the markets, she said.

However, she felt investments in the sector may not happen immediately.

“Though it is commonly felt that with each depreciation cycle, NRIs will find it cheaper to invest in the sector, this does not happen immediately,” Jain said.

The primary reason is that there are logistical constraints such as identifying the right property, negotiating a deal, being able to repatriate large sums of money in outright purchases and completing all the necessary documentation and formalities during the transaction life-cycle, she said.

“A typical purchase transaction may take a NRI buyer a period of a month to 3 months. During this period, the rupee may strengthen and the notional advantages that could accrue due to the rupee’s depreciation could be lost,” she said.

Besides, in such a situation, if the purchase is not outright and the NRI buyer needs to either pay in instalments or he is booking an under construction property, there may not be a guarantee that he will continue to enjoy the benefits of a depreciated rupee during the payment life-cycle.

“In the short term, the depreciation of the rupee may mainly benefit those buyers who are already in the process of finalising an existing transaction where they have still not converted their foreign exchange into rupee to pay for their purchase,” she added.

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