Millennium Post

Housing price inflation at 4-yr low of less than 4%

Housing price inflation has slipped to nearly four-year low to below 4 per cent, a survey by the Reserve Bank said on Thursday. It said that housing prices rose by 61 per cent during the last four and half years, with Jaipur recording the highest growth of 78 per cent. 

These findings are based on a RBI survey covering transaction level data on housing loans disbursed across select 13 cities, from select 35 scheduled commercial banks/ housing finance companies. “The housing market witnessed an upward trend in prices during the past four and half years, as evident from the steady rise in RPPI (Residential Property Price Index) from 107 in first quarter of 2010-11 to 172 in third quarter of 2014-15, an increase of almost 61 per cent,” RBI said in a statement.

The highest growth in the index was in Jaipur at around 78 per cent, whereas the lowest growth was recorded in Greater Chandigarh and Hyderabad at around 40 per cent, it added. “House price inflation, as measured by annual growth in RPPI, witnessed its peak during 2012-13 and has declined in the recent period,” it said. The survey revealed that house price inflation increased gradually from about 4 per cent in first quarter of 2011-12 to almost 28 per cent in third quarter of 2012-13.

“However, the trend reversed thereafter and it slid below 4 per cent in third quarter of 2014-15,” the statement said. The annual growth in housing price index and CPI-Housing Rent Index has been fairly similar in the last seven quarters, the central bank said. “It is observed that during FY13, house prices had been growing at a higher rate than that of housing rent. However, in the subsequent quarters, house price inflation and housing rent inflation moved hand-in-hand,” the release said. The survey also observed a decreasing trend in median LTV (Loan-to-Value) over the quarters, indicating increased cautiousness of banks in sanctioning housing loans. 

Loan-to-value ratio is one of the macro-prudential tools used by banks to control their exposure to decline in house prices. The RBI has prescribed an upper limit of 80 per cent on LTV for housing loans above Rs 20 lakh and 90 per cent for housing loans up to Rs 20 lakh, respectively, with effect from December 23, 2010.

“Movements in median EMI-to-Income ratio, median House Price-to-Income ratio and median Loan-to-Income ratio, did not indicate any notable variation in housing affordability over the quarters,” the survey said. The EMI-to-Income ratio measures the affordability of housing loan to the borrower. It is the portion of gross monthly income of the borrower used to pay monthly EMI. RBI had initiated an information system on housing prices through this survey. The property price data used in analysis is the valuation price of the property as appraised by the concerned bank/housing finance company (HFC). While comparing the annual growth in housing prices of India with other countries, the RBI survey said that housing price inflation in the US and UK have been moving slightly in the upward direction since the first quarter of 2013-14.

“However, as in the case of India, house price inflation in other Asian countries like China, Indonesia and Malaysia have been contracting in the recent few quarters,” it said. The survey also compared the housing price index with gold price and BSE Sensex. It said that growth in equity prices, which was in the negative territory during second quarter of 2011-12 to first quarter of 2012-13, picked up subsequently and moved to positive territory and shot up further in FY15. 

However, housing price growth started to fall by the last quarter of FY13 and approached equity prices growth during FY14. 

Though gold prices witnessed higher growth rate in 2011-12 fiscal, a declining trend in growth was observed in the subsequent year, which further slipped to negative domain during FY14. 

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