Foreign nationals who intend to buy property in India are strongly advised to seek the assistance offered by a local law firm in India, such as our team of real estate experts.
Our English-speaking team will be able to guide you throughout the process which involves several steps and, in some cases, requires special approval.
The guide below is intended for informational purposes and we suggest reaching out to our team as soon as you are ready to buy property in Mumbai or another city.
Even for foreign nationals who comply with all of the existing requirements, restrictions may still be in place for purchasing agricultural land, or farmhouses, among others.
Conditions for foreigners who buy property in India
Property purchase in India is subject to less stringent requirements in case of Indian citizens who reside outside or the country or persons of Indian origin.
Nonresidents, who conduct activities through a branch or another place of business (not including representative offices) can purchase immovable property needed to carry out the activity provided that they obtain an approval from the Reserve Bank.
Under the Permanent Residence Status scheme for foreign investors, the qualifying foreign investor can be allowed to purchase one residential property for personal (dwelling) purposes.
Property matters can be influenced by whether or not the individual who owns or inherits the property has Indian residency or not. Non-residents and non-citizens who inherit property in India are subject to additional approvals. On the other hand, foreign nationals who reside in the country are permitted to purchase property, although they can also be subject to an evaluation.
A foreign national is not permitted to buy property in India directly, however, he shall do so through a transfer of immovable property from a citizen.
The following conditions apply:
- an important condition for the transfer of immovable property is for the recipient to reside in India;
- a foreign national residing in India cannot receive by means of transfer of immovable property agricultural land or farmhouse, nor a plantation property;
- any agricultural land/plantation/farmhouse that is inherited by an Indian citizen can be transferred only to Indian citizens who are permanent residents in the country;
- in order to acquire citizenship by naturalization in India, one needs to lawfully reside in the country for twelve years in most cases.
Buying property in India may not lead to direct Indian citizenship, however, one who is inclined to buy a property and remain in the country for a sufficient amount of time, will be able to apply for citizenship by naturalization. Another option is for foreign spouses of Indian citizens who have been living in the country for at least seven years. our team can give you more details.
If you want to buy property in India as a result of having acquired citizenship, we can provide you with details on how to proceed.
Prohibition on immovable property acquisition in India
Citizens of the following countries cannot buy property in India without the prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Nepal.
Foreign nationals from the aforementioned countries can only lease property for a maximum period of 5 years.
If you want to buy property in Delhi you can reach out to our team of lawyers in India for more details. If you need legal services in another country, such as USA, we can put you in touch with our local partner lawyers.
India house price index evolution
According to the Reserve Bank of India, the overall housing price index increased:
- the housing price index grew by 2.0% in the first quarter of 2021-2022;
- in Q1 2021-2022, the cities that recorded a 0.5% growth were Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kanpur, Lucknow;
- there was a 2.7% year-on-year increase in Quarter 4 of 2020-2021;
- there were significant variations across cities in Q4 2020-2021: a 15.7% increase in Bengaluru or a decrease of 3.6% in Jaipur;
- the quarter-on-quarter basis indicated a house price index growth rate moderated to 0.2% in Q4 2020-2021.
Individuals who wish to buy property in Mumbai or Delhi can use such data to time their investment. Our team can help you with information.
The data prepared quarterly by the Reserve Bank of India is based on the prices for property transactions in the analyzed cities.
If you want to buy property in Delhi or another city, our team of lawyers can assist you.
You can reach out to us as needed, during any phase of the property purchase, or as soon as you decide to buy property in India.
Contact us for more information about the services offered by our lawyers specializing in real estate.
If your goal is not only to buy property but also to relocate to the country, our agents specializing in immigration to India can answer your questions. We are a team with experience in many different areas of interest to foreign nationals living in India and can assist you both before and after you purchase the property and are ready to apply for a residence permit.