Several desis here in the US have started looking at the Indian real estate market as a potential investment opportunity. Here are a couple of articles today at the Indian Economy Blog that talk about the Indian real estate: Real Estate the New IT? , Reality of Indian Realty!.
In Chennai and its surrounding areas, the land value has skyrocketed over the past few years. Agricultural land and dried up lakes are all now budding neighborhoods. This kind of unregulated growth has led to a lot of problems, as the recent rains in Chennai showed. In this context, it will be interesting to see what will happen when mega-malls like Wal-Mart enter the real estate market and gobble up space. Proper city planning, zoning and regulations are needed before the real estate market is opened up to foreign players. It looks like the boom we've seen in residential properties is just a precursor to the jump in commercial/office properties in the future. A statistic like 'Manhattan has more hotel rooms than the whole of India' clearly shows the vast potential in this sector.
Another thing to ponder: Will we finally see properties registered with their full worth with the government during any transaction, or will the value on paper continue to be just a fraction of the real purchase price?