Thursday, January 28, 2010

Key facts about India's property market

More than a dozen Indian real estate firms have lined up plans for initial public offers to raise about USD 6 billion, buoyed by an 81% rise in the Mumbai stock index last year and as property buyers return.

Following are key facts about India's property market.

The property market contributes 5-6% to India's gross domestic product, or about USD 50 billion annually to the USD 1 trillion economy, Asia's third largest.
Total foreign direct investment in housing and real estate in India, since investment norms were first eased in 2005, stands at USD 7.7 billion, including USD 2.2 billion in April-November 2009.

The Bombay realty index underperformed the main index last year, rising 70% after a slump in the first quarter, versus the market's 81% gain.

The major cities of Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore have the most expensive residential property in India, with rates comparable to New York, London and Tokyo, due to limited land and the government's push to develop its services industry. Apartment prices have risen by around a third in some parts of India since hitting a low in the 2009 first quarter.

The government, wary of an asset bubble forming, has warned that banks should be more cautious about risks in lending to property developers at low rates. However, little has been done yet to actually curb lending.

India is in need of a clearer property policy to better develop the sector, analysts said. Since 2007, the legislature has been drafting a bill to regulate the real estate market, but has met with resistance by developers and industry lobbies.

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