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Indians Go To America to Buy Houses

With the real estate situation in India getting too hot, it seems our folks have found better opportunities elsewhere.

Rohit Prakash, based in Austin, Texas , has for long been doing brisk business helping Americans and foreigners buy and sell property in the capital of one of America’s biggest states.

Recently, he set up American Full House to cater to Indians looking to buy homes in locations that have seen a huge price drop. An Indian buyer who contacted him sometime ago is close to doing two deals in a suburb of Los Angeles at $82,000 and $85,000 each for a three-bedroom condominium. At the peak of the housing boom, these properties were selling at close to $250,000.

A 3 bed flat at $82,000 near Los Angeles? That’s about Rs. 35 lakhs. In comparison the apartment I live in (I rent) is at the outer edge of Gurgaon and sells for 1.2 crores, for a 3 bedroom.

I couldn’t find anything of that sort on Craigslist for California, but I saw this house – a 1400 sq. ft, 3 bedroom house on a 7,500 ft lot at El Monte for $289K. That, in comparison with the 2 cr.+ ticket size for that kind of land (house or no house) in NCR (and the same for most of developed India), is cheap.

Expect more of this as US prices come down; that Indians will consider buying. Of course, the rental yields don’t make sense for India, but we are very big on capital appreciation. It would make a lot of sense though to set up a fund that will buy and hold such properties, perhaps next year. Gives me ideas!

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