Expatriate Indians are opting forquality home for their parents - GulfToday

Expatriate Indians are opting forquality home for their parents


Residential buildings seen in Navi Mumbai, India. Reuters

V Nagarajan

Senior living operators in India have witnessed unprecedented enquiries and conversion rates in the past year, with demand surging amid the elderly population struggling with repeated lockdowns and seeking a sense of community.

There is yet another reason for the surge in demand. An estimated 35 million NRIs/PIOs are living in over 160 countries globally and parents are made to fend for themselves.

As the need increases for healthcare amenities due to aging and other illnesses, expatriate Indians are opting for quality homes for their parents.

This is one reason for the sudden surge in demand for senior citizens. The impact of Covid-19 has further boosted the demand for senior citizen homes.

Enquiries have risen up to 30 per cent after the pandemic, according to recent reports. Some operators, like Columbia Pacific Communities, witnessed the demand quadruple.

Antara Senior Living’s facility at Dehradun saw its sales double in recent months, according to JLL survey.

More developers are now keen to introduce senior living in their integrated township and large residential projects due to the rise in demand, according to Rahul Vaidya, Senior Director, Alternatives, JLL India.

Senior living has been slowly growing in the country for over 15 years, with developers focused on families willing to pay a premium to buy a unit at the facility.

This kept overall penetration relatively low, alongside a lack of policy reforms, weak rent laws in many states, and a traditional mindset (most people still equated senior living communities with old-age homes).

But the mindset is slowly changing, especially due to the pandemic.

Seniors, who were reluctant to stay in these communities, are now ready to relocate there as their permanent residence.

Children settled abroad are actively searching for senior living communities for their parents who stay alone.

The proliferation of senior living units in cities like Coimbatore clearly illustrates this trend.

 “There is a rise in the number of people taking professional retirement in their early- or mid-fifties. They are physically fit and want to lead an active lifestyle,” says Vaidya. “They want to join the senior living community early on and be with like-minded individuals in their golden years,” he adds.

Until recently, senior living communities have remained limited to select urban centres and prominent idyllic locations blessed with a pleasant climate and scenic views.

The segment, however, holds potential as health and wellness take centre stage due to the pandemic, and the senior population is on the rise. In 2021, there were nearly 138 million people aged 60 and above in India, according to the country’s National Statistical Office. It estimates the senior population to touch 194 million by 2031, a 41 per cent increase.

I have availed ECB against security of immovable property in Mumbai. In the event of default, what are the consequences of my asset? Please clarify. Shibu, Sharjah

In the event of failure in repayment of external commercial borrowing availed by an NRI under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management (Borrowing or Lending in Foreign Exchange) Regulations, 2000, as amended from time to time, a bank which is an authorised dealer may permit the overseas lender or the security trustee (in whose favour the charge on immovable property has been created to secure the ECB) to sell the immovable property on which the said loan has been secured only to a person resident in India.

Repatriation of sale proceeds towards outstanding dues of the said loan will be permitted and not any other loan.

I intend seeking home loan to part fund my apartment purchase in Delhi. I also have another apartment for which I also need loan to refurbish it. What are the options available? Sandip Mehta, Dubai.

You can get loan for both the purposes. Authorised banks/housing finance institutions (HFCs) and private sector banks provide home loan to NRIs for construction/ purchase/renovation/repairs/improvement to residential units. Even loans are offered to buy developed plots for construction at a later stage.

The quantum of loan, margin money and the purpose of loan will be at par with those applicable to housing loans being granted to resident Indians. The loan should be fully secured by creating equitable mortgage of the property and if necessary, lien on borrower’s other assets in India.

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