Despite the sub-prime crisis in the US and a restrictive regulatory regime at home, Indian real estate continues to boom. Can it last? Alfred Romann reports

Nandan Nelivigi, a New York-based partner at White & Case, focuses on mergers and acquisitions in India. But over the last couple of years, up to 70% of his work has been related to real estate. “That’s where the activity is in India, in spite of all the difficulties,” he says.

India’s real estate market is ripe for investment. There is a dearth of office and retail space. People and businesses are clamouring for better infrastructure, modern offices and more housing. As a result, rental prices have soared along with property valuations.

Take Kolkata for example. According to a report by real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle, rental and capital values in the central business district and suburban locations have been rising by a compound average growth rate of 50% and 23% respectively. Meanwhile, according to Abishek Kiran Gupta, a senior researcher at the company’s India-based division, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, the outskirts of the biggest metropolitan centres like Delhi and Mumbai have seen an influx of investment and new development.

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