Pratap Bhattarjee is an engineer who works in Dubai. He has decided to take his annual holiday and mix business with pleasure.
"I am visiting my family in Mumbai but I am also looking at properties. This would be my first investment, it seems to be the perfect time. We are looking at new developments in the Navi Mumbai area and beyond," Mr Bhattarjee said.
He is one of thousands of non-resident Indians (NRIs) who are poised to take advantage of the Indian currency's record falls by buying property.
The rupee has depreciated by more than 16 per cent against the dollar since July, and with the currency hitting an all-time low last week, plunging to 52.50 against the greenback. Before the slide began the rupee was trading at about 44.
As a result nearly half of NRIs living in the UAE are looking to buy property as an investment hedge against the rupee crisis, according to a survey by Sumansa Exhibitions.
"Developers are reporting a substantial increase of NRI property buyers across the country. Around 40 per cent of buyers are now non-resident, in comparison to the normal figure of about 10 per cent," says PMA Razak, the president of the Mangalore Chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India.
The rupee's fall has made homes in India increasingly cheaper in dollar terms, creating opportunities for those living and earning overseas, particularly in the Gulf where currencies are pegged to the dollar.
The property market offers a mixed bag in the country with some places such as Chennai recording an 11 per cent year-on-year rise, whereas other areas of the southern parts of the country have seen prices slump by more than 20 per cent, according to NHB Residex, an index that tracks housing prices in 15 cities.
But overall it is a buyer's market. There are many projects under way to cater to the mid-priced segment, valuations are generally lower and real estate is often seen as a safer investment than equities, Mr Razak says.
"If you are getting paid in rials or dirhams, you could be buying a property up to 20 per cent cheaper than it was just two months ago. Valuations in the country have also stayed reasonable, with many areas even experiencing a dip due to global economic conditions."
Big cities such as Delhi and Mumbai are still offering good returns but smaller, satellite cities such as Pune, Gurgaon and Noida have emerged as key destinations for investments, Sumansa says.
So it seems Mr Bhattarjee is on the right track.
"Though the prime locations in Delhi or Mumbai are not affordable, the suburbs and the surrounding locations are very promising," says Sunil Jaiswal, the chief executive of Sumansa. "In Mumbai it may not be possible to invest in south Mumbai, but suburbs such as Borivali and Mulund are good options.
"Mumbai enjoys excellent connectivity through public transport and hence people don't mind investing in areas such as Navi Mumbai as well. Investment in suburbs and Navi Mumbai is expected to fetch 15 to 20 per cent returns over the long term," says Mr Jaiswal.
But Sanjay Dutt, the chief executive of business at Jones Lang LaSalle India, sounds a note of caution for people such as Mr Bhattarjee. He says small, modest value properties are those that will yield the highest returns in the long run. "New developments are risky. The earlier you get it, the riskier it gets. Suburban investments make sense for NRIs looking for long-term value.
"If you are thinking of buying your first investment property, it makes sense to invest in the market you are familiar with. If you are from Gujarat, you should buy in Gujarat."
But for those NRIs not wanting to invest in bricks and mortar, there are other options.
Gold has long been a popular asset for NRIs. Gnanasekar Thiagarajan, the director with Commtrendz Research, says those who still prefer the precious metal are not likely to lose out.
"It depends on the time frame. Some may consider buying it long term, even at current prices it makes sense. To prop up growth US and Europe may cut interest rates, which means in the near term gold could take a hit," he says. "Retail investors could buy futures if they are into high risk, but those who want a safer way should buy physical gold."
Anil Rego, the chief executive of Right Horizons, an investment and wealth advisory company, says there are a host of other attractive opportunities where NRIs can park their cash.
"Fixed-income instruments are at extremely attractive yields. Bonds and fixed deposits are offering yields of 9 to 12 per cent depending on the rating of the company."
"There are also bond funds that are open-ended. An investor who can wait six months or so for a return can invest into short-term income funds.
An investor with a long-term perspective of a year or more can deliver good returns. But if fixed-income instruments are not considered attractive, there are tax-efficient fixed-maturity plans that will provide returns in line with bank deposits," Mr Rego says.
Equities are currently seen as unstable and analysts are advising cautious behaviour with regard to buying shares.
"We suggest one to start investing in fundamentally strong names and specifically into large-cap names, which are relatively safe. Diversified equity mutual funds are the best option, especially through a systematic investment," he says.
Market watchers are reluctant to give precise predictions for the rupee's direction, but Arun Singh, an economist from Dun & Bradstreet, says there is light at the end of the tunnel for the battered currency.
"The rupee fall we have experienced is due to the fear of the 'global curse', he says.
"I don't expect the situation to improve in the short term because inflation, dollar and the global turmoil are creating a panic in the market," he says.
"Volatility will continue a further one and a half quarters but summer will bring some relief."