Over the past decade, India has emerged as a leader in the global economy. It is a magnet for foreign direct investment (FDI), and has displaced Mexico as the third most preferred country for foreign investment. FDI in India is expected to increase to US$15 billion this year, triple the 2004 figure. Many foreign companies are starting or expanding operations in India. One-fifth of all Fortune 500 companies including Eli Lilly, General Electric, and Hewlett Packard have set up research and development facilities in India. The surge in foreign investment, more joint ventures between Indian and foreign companies, and the growth of India’s domestic industries have created more employment opportunities for India’s young, highly educated, professional workforce and fueled the growth of the country’s middle class. Advantage India: Real estate is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. Market analysis pegs returns from realty in India at an average of 14% annually with a tremendous upsurge in commercial real estate on account of the Indian BPO boom. Lease rentals have been picking up steadily and there is a gaping demand for quality infrastructure. A significant demand is also likely to be generated as the outsourcing boom moves into the manufacturing sector. Further, the housing sector has been growing at an average of 34% annually, while the hospitality industry witnessed a growth of 10-15% last year.

Apart from the huge demand, India also scores on the construction front. A Mckinsey report reveals that the average profit from construction in India is 18%, which is double the profitability for a construction project undertaken in the US. The importance of the Real Estate sector, as an engine of the nation’s growth, can be gauged from the fact that it is the second largest employer next only to agriculture and its size is close to US $ 12 billion and grows at about 30% per annum. Five per cent of the country’s GDP is contributed by the housing sector. In the next three or four or five years this contribution to the GDP is expected to rise to 6%.

The Real Estate industry has significant linkages with several other sectors of the economy and over 250 associated industries. One Rupee invested in this sector results in 78 paise being added to the GDP of the State. A unit increase in expenditure in this sector has a multiplier effect and the capacity to generate income as high as five times. If the economy grows at the rate of 10% the housing sector has the capacity to grow at 14% and generate 3.2 million new jobs over a decade. The relaxed FDI rules implemented by India last year has invited more foreign investors and real estate sector in India is seemingly the most lucrative ground at present. Private equity players are considering big investments, banks are giving loans to builders, and financial institutions are floating real estate funds. Indian property market is immensely promising and most sought after for a wide variety of reasons. Here’s a snapshot!


FDI under the automatic route does not require prior approval either by the Government of India or the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Investors are only required to notify the concerned Regional office of RBI within 30 days of receipt of inward remittances and file required documents with that office within 30 days of issue of shares to foreign investors.