India is a beautiful country, full of contradictions and contrasts, with abject poverty living side by side with affluence. It has an ancient civilization and culture, and a rapidly growing young educated population.
Now, however India has come into the forefront for many more reasons. For the last few years the IT boom in India and the amazing technological advances here have fuelled a massive interest in most sectors. It has become the hub for most software development, and the outsourcing industry has seen foreign direct investment rise manifold. This has led to a rise in all ancillary sectors and has been responsible for the real estate sector becoming one of the most lucrative investments in India.
As in everywhere else in the World, property development in India can be classified into two sectors the commercial and the retail sectors. There are a few paradigms which are unique to the Indian sub-continent and which need to be taken into consideration before any investment into real estate.
India is a large country, with an even larger population. Real Estate, especially in the metro and urban areas is scarce and is mainly driven by demand. Until a few years ago, it was the stronghold of a few, most of it was owned by individual owners and there were almost no large corporations or conglomerates involved in this sector.
Real Estate was bought and kept for generations as easy buy and easy sell systems did not exist. Even now 99% of Indias urban middle class will buy a property only once, and will probably live in it all their lives.
Even if anyone wanted to buy more real estate loans have been difficult to come by, and the interest rates were too high. The young lived with their parents, or in rented accommodation. Rents took a large chunk of their earnings, but the prohibitive interest rates, and scarcity of land prevented them from buying their own homes.
Commercial property was also very scarce. In the large metros such as Hyderabad and Secunderabad, there were very few fully developed commercial complexes and the satellite towns had not yet come into their own.
Today the scenario has changed amazingly, to the benefit of all those connected with India. For the last few years everyone in India has been talking about the property boom in the metros. However the sale price of large properties in the heart of Hyderabad, has stunned even the most optimist of investors. An amazing $100 million dollars for a relatively small property of 5 acres seemed unrealistic, but as days went by everyone realized that the property boom in India had finally arrived and would stay for a long period of time.
There are many factors that have propelled this change – all interconnected and mostly driven by the boom in the technology sector and the rapidly growing urban middle class. The rise in foreign direct investment, an economic growth rate of over 7%, rising salaries and a loosening of the stringent lending regulations have given rise to a real estate market which is expected to show a growth rate of 25% annually.
In the retail sector or the residential sector, the boom has been just as great. The mortgage rates at 7.5% to 9 % are among the lowest in the world. The satellite towns of Hyderabad, Vijayawada, and other metros have sprung up very quickly, and most developers have bought large tracts of land. These are being built into highly affordable apartments to cater to demands from the young affluent executives. The entry of large corporations into the residential sector has led to a rising of standards and a more efficient infrastructure.
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