Real estate in Mumbai is among the most expensive in the world. In the exclusive area of South Mumbai called Malabar Hills, residential properties are benchmarked at Rs. 24,000 – Rs. 70,000 per square foot.* Even in less pricey areas, such as Bandra West, rates range from Rs. 16,000 – 30,000 per square foot.
The vast majority of expats would not be able to afford such price tags, but they are not allowed to purchase real estate in Mumbai anyway. Buying is only legal for Indian passport holders, Indian green card holders, Non-resident Indians, and certain Persons of Indian Origin. Foreign companies who have an approved office in India may also buy property.
A foreign company might choose to buy a property in Mumbai for expats to use while on assignment, to be left for the next expat moving into town. But because purchasing rates are so prohibitive – and because the buying process is tedious – it is most common for the working spouse’s company to provide the expat with a budget for rent.
For more information visit the Reserve Bank of India’s website or visit the RBI’s FAQ page about acquisition of immovable property at http://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/FAQView.aspx?Id=33#1
*According to Narains Corp Property Consultants & Realtors