Sotheby’s Realty Arm in India Plans expansion to Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Goa & Kolkata
International luxury real estate advisory services provider India Sotheby’s International Realty plans to expand its business to other Indian cities such as Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Goa and Kolkata in the next 18 months and market niche properties for top developers in these cities, Amit Goyal, CEO, India Sotheby’s International Realty, as per news reports in Moneycontrol.
With prices bottoming out and high-end properties available at a 30 percent to 40 percent discount, there is traction in the market, he says, adding there is demand for overseas properties among ultra-rich Indians, especially for cities such as London, Dubai and US. In India, there is interest for properties located in Goa, Alibaug and even Dehradun, he says.
Also, out of a total of over 40,000 properties listed on the company’s global portal, more than 100 listings are from India. While there is demand for luxury homes across the world, there is also interest building up for ranches, vineyards, townhouses and even private islands among global investors. Interestingly, these islands are located in Bahamas, Florida, French Polynesia, Chile, Panama and Canada, he says.
Prices for private islands start from approximately USD 500,000 and goes upto $95 million, i.e. approximately Rs 3 crore to Rs 650 crore, depending upon location, area and other factors.
“After Sri Lanka, there are not many countries where we want to expand our business. We first plan to increase coverage within India. Our plan is to expand to other Indian cities such as Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Goa and Kolkata. These are the markets which we want to set up operations within the next 18 months,” says Goyal.
“We want to set up offices in these cities. Have a team of 3 to 4 people in Goa, 12 to 15 people in Bengaluru and 8 to 10 people in Gurgaon,” he says.
“We have been approached by top developers in these markets and they want us to represent their properties both in India and abroad and also conduct roadshows for them. We are looking at tying up with large developers like Prestige and Embassy Group in Bengaluru. We are in talks with a few developers in Gurgaon too but are yet to finalise names,” he says.
“In Gurgaon, names such as Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corp that has announced a USD 2 billion township project in Gurgaon, also gives us confidence. We would also want to associate with projects by other groups such as Tatas, Godrej and Mahindra”, he says, adding “we are also working with Paras group in the city,” says Atul Goyal, vice president, India Sotheby’s International Realty.
In Goa, the company is marketing villas designed by Tarun Tahiliani. These are exclusive double-storey Portuguese-colonial style villas located in village Socorro in North Goa.
Several clients from Delhi have bought properties in Goa. “We want to build upon that and have a presence in Goa,” he says. The firm is exploring opportunities in Kolkata too. Over the last three years, the firm has set up an India desk in Dubai, US, London and is now focusing on setting up one in Canada.
“We have an India desk in the London office. When an resident Indian acquire a property in London, the India desk representative handles those clients or developers from India who wish to buy or market their properties in the international market among Indian diaspora. We also hold events and roadshows in these markets. We have also set up a desk in Dubai and one is the US. We are now working with the Canada team very closely. We will be sending one person from India office to be permanently based out of Canada,” he says.
The key trend doing the rounds is that of Indians investing in properties overseas, especially in cities such as London, Dubai and the US. Education for children, quality of life, healthcare, weather, business opportunities – these are the primary reasons why Indians are looking at investing abroad. In Asia, there is interest among Indians to invest in properties in Singapore and Hong Kong.
“There is a lot of traction in Mumbai for properties in Hong Kong. Singapore is a popular destination because of education but the stamp duty there is a bit too high. This is one of the reasons why people do not invest in real estate but only for long-term personal use,” he says.
Earlier this month, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC signed a 25-year exclusive agreement with India Sotheby’s International Realty, to further expand the Sotheby’s International Realty brand in Asia with its first office presence in Sri Lanka.
Incidentally, the ITC Group is planning to come up with a hotel and residential project in Sri Lanka – 350 and 132 rooms. The project is expected to be launched in September or October.
According to The Wealth Report, an annual study brought out by international property consultant Knight Frank, the population of ultra-wealthy people (with net assets to the tune of USD 50 million or more) in India grew by 54 percent. This is more than the rate at which the ultra-wealthy population grew in Asia (37 percent) and around the world (18 percent) in the same period. In 2016-17 alone, the number of ultra-wealthy in India grew by 21 percent.
The rise in the uber-rich population around the world, as also in India, can be attributed to easing of the dollar and a bull run on the stock markets.