National Housing Bank (NHB) — the regulator for housing finance companies in the country — has prepared and launched first housing price index called NHB RESIDEX for five cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Banglore, Kolkata and Bhopal.

The index was launched by FM P Chidambaram on Tuesday. The index will give people an idea of increase in the price of residential accommodation in a city. RV Verma, ED, NHB said the bank would work to launch a similar index for land prices also. Verma said in the next phase, NHB will launch the index to 35 new cities with population over a million as per the 2001 census. The residential index of a city will be a number which will suggest the average value of residential properties at that point of time in the city in comparison to 2001, which has been chosen as the base year. The index will be prepared every six months.

But, analysts feel the index will not be an accurate representative in the diverse markets of Indian cities. Like In Delhi, when residential property prices in posh areas like Golf Links, Vasant Vihar and Chanakya Puri are rising, it is declining in suburbs like Rohini, Mayur Vihar and Vikas Puri. Therefore, the index, which will be the weighted average rise and fall in the prices of a city, might give contradictory picture. Also, the index for Delhi will not include Noida and Gurgaon.

The index will use official transaction value, which most of the time is hugely understated to save tax and because of the prevalent black economy. Therefore, the index will not be very accurate representative of the market prices. Despite the shortcomings, RESIDEX will be used to estimate the house wealth. It will help banks and housing finance firms in portfolio evaluation and collateral security for their housing loans. The index will also be useful tool for macroeconomic policy analysis for monetary and fiscal policy formulation.

Source: Times of India
Date: 11/07/07
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  • NHB plans half-yearly house price index

    India's housing finance regulator is planning to release a house price index for five cities every six months in a survey which will expand to more cities over time, the regulator, the National Housing Bank (NHB), said.

    India has little nationwide official data on prices in its booming housing market, and they are not reflected in its most widely watched measure of inflation, the wholesale price index. NHB, which is a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India, said in a statement property prices in Bangalore had appreciated by nearly 29 percent a year between 2001 and 2005, 19.1 percent in Delhi, 15.5 percent in Mumbai, 14.5 percent in Kolkata and 15.7 percent in Bhopal.

    The present "Residex" index covers the five cities but will be extended to 35 cities by 2008. The survey would eventually cover 63 Indian cities, with an all-India index planned once the sample size had widened. NHB also is planning indices for house rentals, land prices, housing development and affordability in coming years. "Housing price index would be a useful tool in compilation of various economic indicators of growth, output, inflation, financial health, etc," NHB said. Real estate prices in India have surged in recent years, driven by a fast-expanding economy that has boosted incomes and spurred demand for shopping malls, houses and offices.

    Policy makers expect foreign investment of more than $3 billion into property in the fiscal year to March 2008, as real estate firms tap the capital market. Leading property developer DLF recently raised 91.88 billion rupees ($2.3 billion) in the country's biggest ever share offer, while rival Unitech plans to raise 20-30 billion rupees in debt to fund its new projects.

    Source: in.today
    Date: 12/07/07
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  • The index should not be city based. It should be individual property based. It should cover built-up properties as well as land. It should indicate the estimated appreciation based on the previous record. It should also indicate the rental returns on the property. Also, it should be calculated on the market value of the properties, and not on the registered values.
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