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News & Views on Indian Real Estate

Friday, June 27, 2008

Real Estate to feel the Heat as Inflation Soars

The recent fate of real estate stocks on the bourses mirrored the first signs of trouble ahead for the industry. Fuel price hike and lower IIP (Index of Industrial Production) numbers were recent setbacks to the sector and now with a 11.05% growth in WPI (wholesale price index), inflation has emerged as a serious threat to the sector, which has been cooling off in recent times.Market experts predict further softening of prices. "Even though prices have corrected by 10-20% and even beyond in some regions, it has not yet touched the bottom. It is advisable to wait till at least the year-end to buy homes," says Jai Mavani, real estate practice head, KPMG.However, since many developers are holding onto prices and even operating as a cartel in some prime pockets like Mumbai, postponing purchase decisions may not really be a solution. Despite the fact that volumes have fallen sharply, established developers are clearly unwilling to drop prices. According to Kotak Institutional Equities' research report, home prices in Mumbai market continue to rise since last October.