Hereby I will prove how the realty boomers arguments are false.

What are the boomers arguments?

1.) Buy today, houses always increase in value in the long run.
WRONG. House prices cannot increase more than incomes in the long run. This is obvious if you think about it. If house prices go up more than people can afford to pay, buying stops, like it has stopped now.
Even Warren Buffett have pointed out that houses don't increase in intrinsic value. Unless there's a bubble or a crash, house prices simply reflect current salaries and interest rates. If a house is 100 years old, it's value in sheltering you is exactly the same as it was 100 years ago. Then came the maintenance as the house didn't renovate itself. It also has taxes, and insurance - costs that always increase and never go away. The price of the house went up about as much as salaries went up.
To put this is simple perspective, vegetable were costing Rs.5-6/kg when 5 digit salary was a rarity.
Today, the prices have gone up by about 4 times but so have the salaries. So, sounds very much like the reasoning people use now when they talk about how much their father's house appreciated "in the long run" without considering that salaries rose a proportional amount.

2.) Renting is just wastage of money.
WRONG. As said before renting is now much cheaper per month than owning. If you don't rent, you either:

* Have a mortgage, in which case you are throwing away money on interest, tax, insurance, maintenance, costs that increase forever.
* Own outright, in which case you are throwing away the extra income you could get by converting your house to cash, investing in bonds, and renting a similar place to live for much less money. This extra income is sufficient for emergency expenses,retirement etc.

Either way, owners lose much more money every month than renters and that's assuming prices don't correct to very high level & everything is smooth in the economy.

3.) As a renter, you won't have any money left as you will spend them on vacations,cars & hence won't have equity/savings etc.
WRONG. Equity is just money. Renters are actually in a better position to build equity/savings through investing in anything but housing. Renters can get rich much faster than owners, just by investing in conservative stocks & bonds.

* Owners are losing every month by paying much more for interest than they would pay for rent. The tax deduction does not come close to making owing competitive with renting.
* Owners must pay taxes simply to own a house. That is not true of stocks, bonds, or any other asset that can build equity/savings. Only houses are such a guaranteed drain on cash.
* Owners must insure a house, but not most other investments.
* Owners must pay to repair a house, but not a stock or a bond.
* Owners lose their money as house prices reduce. The EMI's remain constant in spite of reduction in rates. At the end of loan tenure, they would have paid almost twice than that of current renters who will buy at logical rates. Keep interest rates in mind. Most of the EMI is not principal amount but interest.

4.) There are great tax advantages to owning a house.
WRONG. Many people believe you can just reduce your income tax by the amount you pay in interest, but they are wrong. Buyers may not deduct interest from income tax; they deduct interest from taxable income. And even then, the tax advantage is not significant compared to the large monthly loss from owning.

If you don't own a house but want to live in one, your choice is to rent a house or rent money to buy a house. To rent money is to take out a loan. A mortgage is a money-rental agreement. House renters take no risk at all, but money-renting owners take on the huge risk of falling house prices, as well as all the costs of repairs, insurance, property taxes, etc.

5.) RE is based on local factors, it's not a national phenomenon. RE of Delhi-NCR,Bangalore & rest of the cities has nothing to do with Pune RE.
WRONG. Lending rates remain the same throughout the country. ALL loans are harder to get. This will drive prices down everywhere.

6.) A rental house provides good income. So, you can rent if you have purchased as investment.
WRONG. Rental houses provide very poor income in hyped areas and certainly cannot cover mortgage payments. Remember there is almost 300% difference between EMIs & rent for the same house.

It's pointless to do the work of being a landlord if you can make more money with no risk, no work, and no state income tax by investing in assured good returns bond.

7.) If owning is a loss in monthly cash flow, but appreciation will make up for it.
WRONG. Appreciation is negative. Prices are going down. It only adds to the injury of already high EMI's.

8.) As soon as prices drop a little, the number of buyers on the sidelines willing to jump back in increases.
WRONG. There are very few buyers left, and those who do want to buy will be limited by increasing difficulty of borrowing now that many house owners are near bankrupt as they don't save anything at the end of the month due to high EMI's.
No one has to buy, but there will be more and more people who have no choice but to sell as their payments rise. That will keep driving prices downward for a long time.

9.) House prices never fall atleast in Pune.
WRONG. If you see the RE scenario of 1996, prices crashed by 50% & took a whole 7+ years to recover.
Exact 1996 scenario may not be there today but strong correction is inevitable across the city.

10.) House prices don't fall to zero like stock prices, so it's safer to invest in real estate.
WRONG. House prices won't be zero, but the equity or the principal amount you paid can be zero or even negative. What you will pay as EMIs later in actual terms is not for the principal amount but only the interest as house prices dip. So, you will be only serving the bank.

11.) Prices will soften gradually, won't crash immediately.
WRONG. Prices are falling off a cliff. No one knows exactly what will happen, but it looks like prices will continue to fall for long time. These are just more manipulation of buyer emotions, to get them to buy even while prices are falling.

12.) The bubble prices were driven by supply and demand alone.
WRONG. Prices were driven by low interest rates and risky loans & good returns for investors in initial phases of boom in 2004-05.
Prices went up, interest rates went up & buyers savings went down. So prices are violating the most basic assumptions about supply and demand.

13.) There is lack of land.
WRONG. Ample of land is available & continue to be even in future in Pune. Sales volume are down. Even in Japan (small country with less land), prices went down. Current prices here are the same as that of 23 years ago. If we really had a housing shortage, there would not be so many vacant rentals.

14.) If you don't own, you'll live in a cheap neighborhood later.
WRONG. For the any given monthly payment, you can rent a much better house than you can buy. Renters live better, not worse. There are downsides to renting, such as being told to move at the end of your lease, or having your rent raised, but since there are thousands of vacant rentals, you can take your pick and be quite happy renting during the crash. There are similar but worse problems for owners anyway, such as being fired and losing your house, or having your interest rate and property taxes adjust upward. Remember, property taxes are forever.

15.) There's always someone predicting a real estate crash.
TRUE, yet irrelevant. There are very real crashes every decade or so. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

16.) Local incomes justify the high prices.
WRONG. The mortgage should be more than your 3 years earning. It is much higher today. Most are already in danger/red zone.

17.) You have to live somewhere.
CORRECT. But that doesn't mean you should waste your life savings on a bad investment. You can live in a better house for much less money by renting during the down slide in RE.

18.) It's not a house, it's a home.
WRONG. Wherever one lives in it is home, be it apartment, condo, bungalow , mansion or house. Calling a house a "home" is a manipulation of your emotions for profit.

19.) If you don't buy now, you'll never get another chance.
WRONG. History proves otherwise.
Here's a beautiful quote from a analyst:-
"The real issue isn't whether you will be stuck being a renter all your life, she says. Its whether you'll get so scared about being shut out that you'll buy at the market's peak and be stuck in a property you can't afford or sell."

20.) It would take major economic recession or a major earthquake that wipes out this area in order for the price to fall by over 50%.
WRONG. Even today, if the prices fall by 50%, there will still be very few people who can buy at this levels due to uncertainty in jobs & most importantly high EMIs. Also, look at the rental rates for equivalent houses. Which loss per month is larger? EMI or rent?

contd....
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  • Originally Posted by hitmady
    Even with run-away inflation in last few years/decade, Pune rents are still affordable.
    A person buying 1-BHK in 2004 for 6L in an developed area, may fetch 8K rent. Which is -ve return considering double-digit inflation/EMI + maintenance charge.

    Another person who had then put money in good-stock or MF must have got better returns.
    Above case in BULL phase of RE :D. What if next few years are BEAR phase?
    Stocks atleast give options to pack-up & run :D

    Remember high-inflation not only increases EMI but also other costs of living for e.g. school/tuition fees, transportation/travel/fuel costs, grocery, entertainment charges etc. So owning a house with higher EMI (> 30% of salary) in inflationary period is double-whammy.

    Frankly speaking when I am paying rent which is #10% of take-home salary and owning same costs 30% of salary, I see NO incentive in buying even-if it's affordable.


    When cost of living goes up with inflation- salaries also rise a lot (for those who get to keep their jobs).

    WIth increased salary, EMI becomes nothing. THe standard rule in RE is:

    1st 5 years of EMI hurt like crazy

    2nd 5 years of EMI are easily bearable

    3rd 5 years of EMI seem negligible (in 15 year mortgage)

    At the end of 15 years, you will pay off your loan and have clear title to a house which would not be affordable otherwise, given what inflation did to your currency.

    It has worked without fail for the last 40 years in India like clockwork - not excluding the current times
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  • Originally Posted by Venkytalks
    .
    It has worked without fail for the last 40 years in India like clockwork - not excluding the current times


    Besides inflation & salary rise in US, the home owners are still worried. Quarters by quarter prices are going down & still not bottomed out. Do you know why this calculation is not working out?
    I can think of only one reason that is incorrect time & price. People who purchased at exorbitant prices in peak are the most affected one. Even the survey showed that transaction occurred from 2003 till crash was the cause of turmoil.

    Today, you may pay the insane price but in future if you want to sell the property & cannot find bigger fool you will be in sue. On current price level builders are not getting any buyers, what it tells? The price level is unsustainable. The RE is illiquid, even after so many advertisements the inventory is not moving, builders were forced to roll over the loans to avoid bankruptcy. Above calculation is not working for builder how it will work for individual? :bab (16):


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  • Originally Posted by khbarilal
    Besides inflation & salary rise in US, the home owners are still worried. Quarters by quarter prices are going down & still not bottomed out. Do you know why this calculation is not working out?
    I can think of only one reason that is incorrect time & price. People who purchased at exorbitant prices in peak are the most affected one. Even the survey showed that transaction occurred from 2003 till crash was the cause of turmoil.

    Today, you may pay the insane price but in future if you want to sell the property & cannot find bigger fool you will be in sue. On current price level builders are not getting any buyers, what it tells? The price level is unsustainable. The RE is illiquid, even after so many advertisements the inventory is not moving, builders were forced to roll over the loans to avoid bankruptcy. Above calculation is not working for builder how it will work for individual? :bab (16):




    Your reason is right for US to some extent - real reason is that US has some 18 MILLION more homes than the 150 million odd households.

    These remain empty always - US has MORE SUPPLY THAN DEMAND. What happened in USA was that every body decided to play a game of musical chairs, moving to one step bigger house than where they were before.

    The guy living in the biggest house moved to an even bigger one, newly built. The second biggest house owner moved to the biggest house and so on down the line.

    Each one took out a loan - some could afford, many could not afford.

    Net gain in standard of living for the whole of USA was probably negligible - except for the richest, rest only played musical chairs. In the process they created a massive loan - imagine 150 million home loans for negligible improvement in standard of living!

    Its a simplification of course, but close to the truth. AMericans made foold of each other.

    Fact remains - US has more inventory than needed - and therefore, untill the credit binge plays itself out, prices will stay suppressed. This situation of oversupply has existed for past 50 + years in USA

    Situation of oversupply is same in every developed country and also in CHINA - despite its famous ghost cities, every citizen of China lives in a pucca house of some description - which by India standard would be considered a great house.

    These economies keep a inventory of vacant housing so that people can keep relocating near their jobs.

    India (and Africa, Bangladesh, Indonesia and occasional ther very poor country) has only 20% of population living in anything describable as a house.

    Rest live like Chimpanzees or cattle (using only for emphasis).

    Supply is maybe 10-20% of demand. Scarcity is created by many ways described earlier - mostly bad property laws.

    Every year, some 5% of the people currently living like Chimpanzees, get an education and jobs and desire to live like humans.

    In this situation, PRICES CAN NEVER EVER DROP.

    Despite this you will see lots of ghost buildings in Delhi's Dwarka and Gurgaon's Sohna road, just like Chinese ghost cities.

    At night (8.00 PM), every building has 4 lighted windows and 100 dark ones - the dark ones are kept empty by owner, as he waits for price to appreciate.

    Must be lonely for the few who inhabit these vacant buildings - but what to do when you have taken big loan and to live in what you bought?

    Buy now and sell after 20 years is the modus operandi of these investors - while they wait, they keep it vacant - who wants to show regular rental income in tax?

    These people have (black) money and they NEVER NEVER sell unless at 1000% profit - coverting black to white in the process.

    Maybe 80% of NCR flats are owned by these people - those hoping for prices to fall are the biggest fools in the world - black guys have cornered all flats and needy people have to pay through their nose if they want one for themselves.

    Without crores, they will neither get to buy a flat, nor will they even get to rent it - black guys dont want to rent out.

    What is happening here is that those with capital are cornering a basic need and are holding the needy people to ransom.

    Which is why, if you want to rent - you dont get to rent the decent flats in NCR. YOu only get to rent from poorer owners who mostly have builder floor flats in unauthorised colonies. Or poor suckers who booked a flat they did not need and are forced by EMI to rent - usually an affordable housing flat.

    It is difficult to get good rental flats of decent specification unless you shell out 30-40,000 per month in Gurgain and 50,000 plus in South Delhi. That too, only if you work in MNC etc or are a non-Andhra South Indian.

    The real "cornering the flats" game is played by people who have money in crores and they do not need to take any loan or pay EMI - THEY HAVE TREMENDOUS HOLDING POWER.
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  • Originally Posted by Venkytalks
    When cost of living goes up with inflation- salaries also rise a lot (for those who get to keep their jobs).

    WIth increased salary, EMI becomes nothing. THe standard rule in RE is:

    1st 5 years of EMI hurt like crazy

    2nd 5 years of EMI are easily bearable

    3rd 5 years of EMI seem negligible (in 15 year mortgage)

    At the end of 15 years, you will pay off your loan and have clear title to a house which would not be affordable otherwise, given what inflation did to your currency.

    It has worked without fail for the last 40 years in India like clockwork - not excluding the current times


    You have summed it well Venky. One should read some posts by bluebell on same. He showed example when someone bought house in Koregaon park some 15L plus (hasna manaa hai) some 15 years back after which price plummented 30-40% sometime later. Hard to find any buyers at that time. He no doubt kept on paying EMI. In case he is still paying EMI (or what he paid at the end of the loan tenure) much be laughable in today's context.
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  • Hi Venkytalks,


    What a nice post! Very informative!


    Can you tell us more about your finding regarding ratio between supply vs. demand (10-20%)? How do you came across these numbers? In Pune I don't think supply is that less. Construction is going on at every corner in Pune.


    Regards,
    Prasad
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  • Never say never ...

    Originally Posted by Venkytalks
    Your reason is right for US to some extent - real reason is that US has some 18 MILLION more homes than the 150 million odd households.

    These remain empty always - US has MORE SUPPLY THAN DEMAND. What happened in USA was that every body decided to play a game of musical chairs, moving to one step bigger house than where they were before.


    The real "cornering the flats" game is played by people who have money in crores and they do not need to take any loan or pay EMI - THEY HAVE TREMENDOUS HOLDING POWER.



    Venky,

    You argue that US has more supply than demand. True.

    In comparison, you argue that India has more demand than supply. Not so true. Reasons ...

    This demand is driven entirely by credit at these prices (except where Black money is parked as believed by many). How many on this forum would hav bought their houses / land at the prices they bought them if they did not have recourse to very high leverage? I would guess over 80% would not!

    Credit is not only to buyer. It is also to builder. So banks are truly running a giant fraud scheme basically sponsored by the Govt. They force banks to lend at low rates to builders for an asset, which they then lend against to buyers. Have you ever seen multiple lending on the same asset?

    And then prices are manipulated to create an illusion that all this credit is on a sound wicket since they are backing a high price asset. A classic ponzi scheme if ever there was one. This is definitely a rather large bubble even in India. Only, because of a as yet good looking job scenario it is not so visible to the public.

    So long as money is kept pumping into all economies, the bubble will not collapse. Under what scenario will it?

    First the endgame of western economies will come to an end precipitating a global banking crisis. This will in turn send most western economies into a deep recession or depression for a prolonged time. Atempts to pump their way out will not work because people would have entered terminal exhausion regarding borrowing more money at any rate.

    This would ripple across to India as a combination of significant job losses as well as salary cuts in out most lucrative businesses - export oriented businesses.

    Besides other issues like high oil prices will also have a bearing on especially outlying RE prices as people come to their senses that buying cheap 30 km away also implies very high alternative cost via transportation (soon Govt will have no choice but to raise petrol and diesel to much higher levels, especially petrol to 3 digit levels).

    This will then finally result in largescale defaults among home buyers which will result in banks getting hit, builders going under, etc, etc.

    Think this scenario is far fetched. You just have to see how close to the brink western economies are today (US living week-to-week on borrowing 80 billion every week, Japan crushed, many EU economies in coma) to see how close we are to the first stage I have outlined earlier. Even China is facing severe runaway inflation. We have raised interest rates 8 times in the last 12 months and will soon get very uncompetitive in the global markets. Constant high inflation and interest rates is like trying to live in 50 degree celcius throughout the year. Its highly exhausting to you finances and leaves little surplus back in your pocket to pay the ever increasing EMIs.

    Why do you think Gold and Silver are tearing away? Why do you think Bill Gross is not only out of Treasuries but actually shorting them? The situation is accelerating as we go along. One day soon it will appear as a Black Swan and Ben will say, "e could never have seen this coming"! :)

    Let us wait and watch.

    cheers
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  • Govt wants to track ALL RE transactions?

    Folks,

    All you well-informed people, what do you make of the articles I read in the EcoTimes today about Govt wanting to register every RE transaction centrally and track them for identifying Black Money involvement?

    Real. Whats the scope of this? Will it work?

    cheers
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  • when u were making investments and real estate purchases in banglore even then soothsayers were predicting doomsday...if such doom comes at all, then even then some ppl will keep predicting another black hole :D
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  • It has to be balanced ...

    Originally Posted by puser
    when u were making investments and real estate purchases in banglore even then soothsayers were predicting doomsday...if such doom comes at all, then even then some ppl will keep predicting another black hole :D


    I trade on the worst of black hole days as well as the best of days.

    So long as you put in only a small part of your fund (money management) as well as have models to cut you out of the market at specified levels (of profit OR loss), it does not matter if the sky is dark or blue.

    So also RE purchases. If I am putting in 50% of the price and have other assets in quantities on the side and EMIs as only a small part of my income, it does not matter if the markets tank for another 18 months. I can carry the loss making asset on my shoulders without much strain.

    So, whats that got to do with where the world's economies are headed? Why are you confusing one with the other?:)

    I could be shouting "Crash" and at the same time selling what I bought at Rs.10 for Rs.6000 and simultaneously buying something else for Rs.2000. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me and works for me as well!!!

    cheers
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  • Originally Posted by wiseman
    You are factually correct. But unnatural things are happening today.

    First of all the RE bubble is being kept intact and even being blown bigger due to the immense bailouts and stimuli all over the world. India has its own version. If you remove the bailouts, you would have found instant recession, deep job losses and inevitably home prices wold have come down rather sharply. Many builders would have gone broke and things would have gone ugly.

    But this very bailout will make things worse in future since one day confidence of lenders would end and when borrowing is no longer possible (or too expensive), the crash will come with added intensity.

    Simply means that many people (who could have otherwise avoided pain by not being able to buy a home at the wrong time) would now not only have bought at very high prices with large debts but also have paid several years of very high interest (and very low principal payback in the initial years).

    When your equity in the home is 20% and pricex cme down 25% and you lose your income or ability to pay, you lose everything.

    And many people save 10, 15, 20 years to pay up the down payment. And they gamble with losing all of it Just because it has not come by so far does not mean it will not eventually.

    People must never forget that Real Estate is the largest Govt-sponsored g,ambling / ponzi game in the world. If the Govt did not configure laws to allow such massive borrowing by private individuals with no other independent collateral (you can't say the home is the collateral since its being borrowed against) and provide tax sops and create a belief that homes are actually worth what they are and will never go down, this kind of bubble would never have been blown. Why is Govt not giving tax sops to buy stocks on borrowed funds (after all its productive investments, right?). Its rigging and all rigged games ultimately blow up because too many people enter it at unsustainable levels and it collapses under its own weight.

    If the same rigging (buyer financial support) was done in stocks or bullion (low interest loans and tax breaks for interest payment), imagine where stock prices and gold prices would be by now!

    cheers

    +1. Very good post wisey, agree completely.
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  • Originally Posted by stoxxx
    How does one know as a matter of certainty that RE buyers are over leveraging. What if they miss the boat again and again with runaway inflation which is what have happened continuously over last decade.

    When majority of buyers are taking loan for 10+ yrs with 60% or more take home salary going in servicing home loan EMIs with negligible savings, it means over-leverage. I have myself seen people who could not even afford to buy a sofa or do the bedroom (1.5L) after they bought the house. Isn't this a classic case of over-leverage. I have even seen a person who kept his TV on a stool in his new flat!! Just tell me how many people can pay their EMIs for 6 months if they are jobless?? This tells you the real story.

    I dont support high prices or RE bulls or builders. But life is short. One may not want to wait forever and cause oneself heartburn thinking 'if only I had bought then'. Going by some boarder's history they have been calling RE crash since 2004 and since then prices have only gone up multiple times. These are facts. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

    Read page 1 of this thread.
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  • Originally Posted by stoxxx
    You are missing the capital appreciation on RE. No one invests in RE for rental income alone - not only in India but in many other countries.

    A stock may not give dividend but if it appreciates then you are happy aren't you.

    Also RE is the only investment where you can get the gearing. if you had 1 million dollars you could invest that in MF / Stocks. But with the same 1 million dollars you could buy a house worth 4 million. If it is a very long term purchase you are bound to come out good - except if bought at unaffordable gearing or to flip it in a couple of years.

    Also a major crash in housing most likely would lead to a crash in stock market in India where the GDP growth is based on real estate boom and domestic consumption.

    One should not compare stocks with RE for the simple reason that you have diversified portfolio in stocks unlike RE. Also, you can take short term + long term calls in stocks, in RE, who knows what the situation maybe when you get the possession, if at all you get one in time.

    To translate RE into reality, you require 3+ yrs, stocks you can buy in secs. There is also the option of stop loss in stocks, nothing in RE.

    Last but not the least, the stock market has zoomed in past 6 months, while RE cos shares have fallen by 50+%....tells you the real story.
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  • Originally Posted by wiseman
    Folks,

    All you well-informed people, what do you make of the articles I read in the EcoTimes today about Govt wanting to register every RE transaction centrally and track them for identifying Black Money involvement?

    Real. Whats the scope of this? Will it work?

    cheers

    Yes this will work & is very useful as:-

    > It will stop the unethical & illegal things like selling of same house/land to multiple people,

    > The no. of houses a particular person holds across the country will be seen & then compared with his income tax,

    > Benaami transactions will become difficult,

    > People who earn more than their known income sources could be found easily as RE is the best place for them to park their money in.

    This is also being done to secure the country as lots of property was acquired by Russian mob & KGB (now FSB) in Goa (now foreigner can't buy property in Goa), money of ISI being pumped in Mumbai market through people like Dawood & politicos like Abu Azmi.

    All in all, this is good for buyers, good builders & safety of the country.

    Btw, here is one link for the same:-

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/real-estate/news-/moneylaundering-watchdog-to-track-all-realty-deals/articleshow/7940182.cms
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  • Originally Posted by Venkytalks

    In this situation, PRICES CAN NEVER EVER DROP.
    THEY HAVE TREMENDOUS HOLDING POWER.


    In 2009 recession, prices had dropped around 30-40% from 3rdQ of 2008 till 3rd Q-2009. And even in past similar kind of correction has happened.
    Irate customers start filing cases against real estate developers - Corporate News - livemint.com
    Real estate companies face ire as homebuyers band together - Corporate News - livemint.com

    As far as rich peoples are concerned, they are not fool at least in terms of investing else they would be middle class like us.
    Wealthy Indians Look to Purchase Overseas Property
    Still searching for 20 year old unused investor apartment.

    The demographic BS is a typical story given by investment banks to fool investors. The fact is that the slum population went up in all cities but the prospective Chimpanzees never turned to purchase real estate. May be they are much more intelligent than speculators. They are only interested in free houses, once rehabilitation project happens they will get it free.
    NOTE: Mumbai slum population went up 60% , Pune-35%.

    Theory is good but wrong application. RE is a cyclical business. All cyclical businesses go through boom & burst & current cycle is a correction cycle.
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  • Indian Speculative property purchases in Mumbai are over

    Mr Nair said: "The past six months have seen the return of negotiability in asking prices, and saw the return from a sellers' to a buyers' market. Both registration data and home loan disbursals are indicating a distinct slowdown. The number of apartments being sold in the first quarter of 2011 is considerably lower than in the corresponding period of 2010. Developers who were selling their entire projects in a few weeks are now taking months to sell their unsold stock.”
    Investors expecting a further property price correction in Mumbai

    Overseas Property News | Indian Speculative property purchases in Mumbai are over | HomesGoFast.com
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