Wealthy Indians or ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) own, on average, 5.1 residential properties compared to their international counterparts at 4.2 units, says an ‘attitude’ survey by global property consultant Knight Frank.
The study revealed that around 37 per cent of the wealth allocation by rich Indians was towards primary and secondary homes , of which 15 per cent was towards overseas residential properties.
“UHNWIs in India have the greatest appetite, owning an average of five homes each. This demonstrates the unwavering appeal for residential properties,” said the report. Fourteen per cent of UHNWIs purchased a home in 2022, and about 10 per cent of them plan to buy another one in 2023, it said.
Amongst foreign locations, the UK, the UAE, and the US are the most preferred locations for purchasing homes. India and Canada were among the top five destinations.
Flora Harley, partner of residential research at Knight Frank , says: “Real estate was the top cited opportunity among 46 per cent of Knight Frank’s survey respondents, whether for its attributes as an inflation hedge or due to the benefits of diversification.
“Many panelists highlighted the opportunity to secure enhanced return profiles as a key advantage. Plus, when investing directly, real estate enables greater control and value-add opportunities.
“One in 10 respondents specifically cited looking for attractive valuations and distressed opportunities. That trend isn’t limited to real estate either: equities and the technology sector were tipped by around a third of our respondents.”
Adds Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director of Knight Frank: “As India emerges as a market of opportunity, which is expected to remain in growth mode despite an impending global slowdown, wealth held by UHNWIs is expected to grow in 2023.
“The optimism of ultra-wealthy on wealth generation here is far higher than their global counterparts, and this shall serve as the bedrock of investment and consumption decision.”
However, the survey revealed that in 2022, UHNWIs expanded their orientation from APAC (Asia-Pacific) to other global markets in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) and the Americas. For most Indians, the UK was the first choice for buying a house outside India, at 47 per cent of respondents.
“The tumultuous global macro-economic environment and high-interest rates will have its influence on market sentiments; however, the new market phase with best-in-class real estate in residential and commercial segments is expected to witness continued demand,” says Baijal.