Picking pace – Housing prices improve in first quarter of 2017

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   The National Housing Bank recently released a revamped and expanded online price index, NHB Residex, which shows that 27 cities registered rise in prices in the quarter ending March 2017, against the quarter ending December 2016.

   As the real estate sector emerges from the impact of demonetiza tion, prices have shown some improvement in a majority of cities.

   The index of prices went up by 6.7% in Gurgaon, 3.7% in Mumbai, 6.2% in Chandigarh, 8.1% in Kanpur, and by 11.7% in Bhubaneswar, in the JanuaryMarch 2017 quarter over the OctoberDecember 2016 quarter.

   The National Housing Bank (NHB) recently released a revamped and expanded official, online NHB Residex, which indicates movement in the prices of residential real estate prices.

   Out of 50 cities which are monitored by the NHB to prepare the index for residential prices, called Residex, 27 cities registered improvement in prices in the quarter ending March 2017, against the quarter ending December 2016.

   Prices remained flat in cities like Noida, Greater Noida, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, where the movement in the Residex is around 12% in the January-March quarter over the previous quarter.

   However, 19 out of 50 cities registered fall in index of property prices, like Delhi, where it fell by 4.3%, Gandhinagar by 12%, Surat 8.9%, Ludhiana 7.8%, and Kolkata by 7.2% In the NCR, average prices in Noida and Greater Noida are still moving southward, by around 1%, but the rate of fall has declined.

   In Noida, while the index of prices fell by around 1.7% in the January March quarter of 2017, it had dipped by 3.4% in the previous quarter of October-December 2016. In Greater Noida, the fall in January-March quarter of 2017 was around 0.8%, against 3.2% in the previous quarter.

   However, the fall in prices in Delhi, at 4.3%, was in the main owing to the rampant presence of unaccounted money in the real estate in the old property. But in Markets like Noida, greater Noida, Gurgaon, and others, the use of black money is not rampant.That is why, as the effect of demonetization receded fast, prices have started looking up, a consultant said.

   The appreciation in prices in Gurgaon, however, suggests that there is not much availability of residential units at the present prevailing prices.

   At the same time, buyers are also now closing deals. Consultants say that prices may further improve in the festival season this year. Prices in other organized markets like Noida and Greater Noida also started looking up.

   In the segment of property under construction also, the index of prices went up in 24 out of 47 cities, which were monitored in the quarter ended March 2017 over that of December 2016.

   The maximum increase was registered in seven cites-Jaipur (8.7%), Chennai (6.7%), Lucknow (5.7%), Guwahati (5.2%), Howrah (4.4%), Hyderabad (4.4%), and Bidhan Nagar or Salt Lake City (4.1%).

   At the same time, 14 cities have registered a decline in prices over the previous quarter, with the maximum fall in Patna (16.2%), followed by Nashik (6.3%), Delhi (4.3%) Faridabad (3.9%), and Chandigarh (3.4%).

   The index of prices of projects under construction in Noida, Greater Noida, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad remained flat.

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