I'm starting this thread to discuss the impact of volatility in the Job market on the RE market.

Strong RE prices rely on confidence among buyers in reliable long-term, rising income coming from a growing Job market.

We saw in 2008 that, when the job market became shaky, RE became shaky as people put off decision to buy (for that matter all buying of expensive items became shaky - cars, TVs, etc).

There is rising evidence that the World (especially the Western World) is entering another period of volatility with continued weakness in economies, too much debt not being addressed correctly, unemployment remaining very high and rising further, millions more fresh graduates joining in the race each year and not finding jobs and all of this putting high pressure on all kinds of markets.

Now, finally, it has become clear that many countries and their local governments are facing high deficits and even bankruptcy and are acting to seriously reduce local budgets which implies millions of jobs being cut in the Govt sector. When we take into account that most of the job growth in the last 2 years occurred in the Govt sector, this implies that unemployment is set to rise even further. This is now being done in the UK (the next Greece) and in the US as states and provinces face bankruptcy as the links below show ...

300000 jobs in public sector face the axe

College grads flood job market

A very interesting point in the first article talks of IT Vendors like IBM and HP being asked to be ready to see cuts in spending of 20-30 %(that is a big number in $$$). This should also automatically impact outsourcing through rate cuts and even contracts being axed. There is talk about there being a material impact on some Indian IT companies (TCS has a strong presence in the UK) on revenues and profitability.

I have been of the opinion that another longish period (1-2 years) of job market uncertainty in India (cuts in number of jobs as well as salary) would see another slump in the RE market. Coupled with the precarious debt position among builders and many RE investors coming to market to sell, there should be a significant correction in prices in RE.

Why not everyone pitch in with their own opinions about this subject? This will give us a much better picture about the real impact of jobs on RE.

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  • Hi wiseman. That's a wise post from you.
    Yes, the doles given by the UK, US govts have given the "mirinda" effect (zor ka jhatka dheere se lage) (En: the heavy blow feels light). However, the basic causes of the crises have not been dealt with yet. To make matters worse, while the common investors are still being punished, the big culprits are being bailed out by their govts.

    I also agree that this can (don't know if it will) have a really bad impact on our IT for well over a year. Although some projects are coming in now, it doesn't take long to face a change of situation.

    In all this, I feel the last time, RE builders and investors were lucky because they could hold on to their unrealistic prices. Having absolutely no regulation in the industry helped, of course.

    The next time, they may not be lucky and will be forced to reduce prices. There will be positive and negative fallouts of that, I'm sure. People who have bought or invested in a home will be disappointed. Future buyers may be happier.
  • How about a solution-oriented discussion ...

    I was looking at a slightly changed way of posting. For example ...

    The worst thing that can happen is for someone who has just bought a home in the last 3-5 years (most likely) - where the substantial bulk of payment will go to paying interest and very little of the payment goes to reducing principal amount - and happens to lose the means of paying EMI for, say, 6 - 12 months (don't think its too extreme a case since I know of a very experienced IBM'er who went jobless for a considerable period after the 2000 slump), what are the possible courses of action for them?

    Open ended case which can be filled in by the various bankers, lawyers and other experienced people who can suggest ways and means for people to get out of such situations meaningfully without losing their shirts.

  • Realty Vs Reality

    Wiseman ,

    I am reading your post since last two years and waiting on Cash hoping RE prices will come down.Your informations are very knowledgable and informative.But in reality I doubt how far RE prices will go down.It can happen only when US and global market crashes immediatly and the whole world enters in to a depression.I expect this RE crash Only when the following scenario happens.

    1. US government go bankrupt or almost default level and social civil unrest in USA(Like what Greece is facing today) because of high unemployment and high inflation.
    2.No H1bs can stay /work in USA because of US social unrest/high unemployment.
    3.Huge lay off(40%+ of existing work force) / huge pay cut(40% plus) in indian IT industry.However I still think Indian 3rd tier cities are safer because of Govt employees.

    So what is happening right now is the Governments are postponding the problem by giving huge bail ous /stimulus .thus to reduce the hard landing / impact of this global down turn.
    RE prices will crash only if the above scenario occurs in one year time frame.even if the above scenario happens in one decade time frame , RE prices will stay flat or go little down and it won't crash dramatically(due to our people sentiment).

    Though Chennai prices stay flat , 3rd tier towns are still showing positive signs because of Govt people(thanks to 6th pay commision).I don't think Govt can reduce their salaries for any reason.,instead Govt can devaluate our currency.So I don't expect any big crash in 3rd tier towns.

    Coming to the point , I am a NRI and holding some good cash reserves and I really don't know what to do with that cash.My cashes are just sleeping in the FD.I am worried whether the coming expected currency crisis or high inflation will eat my savings.I personally feel everything in this world is overpriced except paper currency.