Jun 15, 2023Investments

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) For NRI: A Promising Avenue

by Godrej Properties Limited



NRI And Real Estate Investment Trusts

In recent years, REITs have gained popularity among NRIs due to their potential for stable income, portfolio diversification, and liquidity. It is an essential factor to consider in NRI real estate investment. NRIs are finding REITs as an attractive alternative to direct property ownership, as they offer them a convenient and accessible way to participate in the real estate market REITs operate by pooling funds from various investors and using those funds to acquire and manage income-generating properties.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

Why Indian Real Estate Is Becoming a Preferred Destination for Investment Among NRIs

India's real estate sector has emerged as an attractive investment choice for NRIs, driven by several compelling factors:

  • Favourable Government Policies: The Indian government has introduced policies to facilitate NRI investments in real estate. Relaxations in foreign direct investment (FDI) norms and improved regulations have boosted NRI's confidence in the sector.
  • Stable Economic Growth: India's steady economic growth and urbanisation have created a growing demand for quality housing and commercial spaces, making real estate a lucrative investment.
  • Attractive Returns: Real estate investments in India offer the potential for high returns, whether through rental income or capital appreciation, especially in rapidly developing cities.
  • Diverse Investment Options: NRIs can choose from various real estate assets, including residential, commercial, and retail properties, and participation in real estate startups and REITs.
  • Portfolio Diversification: Investing in Indian real estate allows NRIs to diversify their investment portfolio, reducing risk through exposure to different asset classes.
  • Homecoming Plans: Many NRIs consider investing in real estate to secure a home for their future return to India, combining investment with personal objectives.

What Makes REITs So Promising In NRI Real Estate Investment?

1. Real Estate Investment Trusts REITs

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have emerged as a promising avenue for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) seeking investment opportunities in the real estate sector. REITs are investment vehicles that allow individuals to invest in a diversified portfolio of income-generating real estate assets. These assets can include commercial properties like office buildings, retail spaces, hotels, and residential properties such as apartment complexes. 

2. Advantages Of REITs For NRIs

Stable Income REITs distribute a significant portion of their rental income to shareholders through dividends. This regular income stream can provide NRIs with a stable source of cash flow. Additionally, REITs often have long-term leases with established tenants, minimising the risk of vacancy and ensuring consistent rental payments.

3. Considerations For NRIs Investing In REITs

Tax Implications NRIs should be aware of the tax implications of investing in REITs. Dividend income received from REITs may be subject to withholding tax in the country where the REIT is domiciled. However, many countries have tax treaties in place to avoid double taxation. NRIs should consult with tax professionals to understand the tax obligations in their home country and the country where the REIT is based.

Investment Instruments NRIs Should Consider but Often Miss Out On

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) have many investment options, yet they sometimes overlook opportunities that can potentially enhance their portfolio. Here are some investment instruments NRIs should consider:

  • Mutual Funds (MFs): Mutual funds offer diversification across various asset classes, including equities, debt, and hybrid funds. NRIs can benefit from professional fund management and the potential for higher returns.
  • Equities: Investing in the Indian stock market can allow NRIs to participate in the country's economic growth. They can invest directly or through the Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) route.
  • Bonds and Debentures: NRIs can consider government and corporate bonds for a fixed income stream. These investments offer regular interest payments and the possibility of capital appreciation.
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): REITs have gained prominence in India and allow NRIs to invest in income-generating real estate assets without requiring direct property ownership.
  • Public Provident Fund (PPF): NRIs can maintain their PPF accounts opened before their NRI status. PPF provides tax benefits and a safe, long-term savings avenue.

The final word

REITs provide NRIs with an attractive avenue for real estate investment. With their potential for stable income, portfolio diversification, and liquidity, REITs offer NRIs a convenient way to participate in the real estate market without the need for direct property ownership. However, NRIs should carefully consider the tax implications, regulatory compliance, and risk management aspects before investing in REITs. Consulting with financial advisors and tax professionals can help NRIs make informed investment decisions in this promising avenue.


Frequently asked questions 

1. How can NRIs ensure regulatory compliance when investing in REITs?

Ans. NRIs investing in REITs must ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements of both their home country and the country where the REIT is listed. They should familiarise themselves with the legal and regulatory framework governing REIT investments, including any restrictions on foreign ownership or repatriation of funds.

2. What are the risks associated with investing in REITs?

Ans. While REITs can offer attractive returns, they are subject to certain risks. Market fluctuations and economic conditions can impact the performance of the real estate market and, consequently, the value of REIT investments. Additionally, the quality and occupancy rates of the underlying properties can affect rental income and dividends.

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