Indian investors quietly buying up US property

Suburban spots in New Jersey, Queens among the most popular locations

Jersey City's Newport area is a popular spot for Indian investors
Jersey City's Newport area is a popular spot for Indian investors

Wealthy investors from China, Canada and Latin America are no strangers to buying condos and other U.S. homes. Now, affluent investors from India are increasingly joining their ranks.

Faced with fears of a real estate bubble in major Indian cities and what the New York Times called a “sometimes jittery Bombay Stock Exchange,” buyers from the Subcontinent see the U.S. housing market as a safe place to park their cash. In the New York area, suburban spots in New Jersey and Queens, which have long-established Indian-American communities, have been a particularly hot draw, according to the Times.

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Unlike their superrich counterparts from places like China, however, many Indian investments are not attention-grabbing trophy properties. Instead, many buyers are parents who live in India but buy apartments for students attending college, then keep and rent out the properties post-graduation. The riverfront Newport area of Jersey City is one such hotspot, and Indian clients buying there typically spend between $600,000 and $800,000 on condos, one broker told the Times.

Towers such as the 443-unit James Monroe at 45 River Drive South, the condo’s board president said, are appealing to new arrivals from India and elsewhere in Asia because they resemble the high-rise districts of Mumbai and Hong Kong.

“They can get exactly what they want in this area,” Irene Barnaby, a broker with the Jersey City-based Weichert Realtors, told the paper. [NYT]Julie Strickland