What makes residential property rates go up & down???

Recently one of my best pal visited one of the zillions property agent/dealer in Delhi NCR region, inquiring about the residential properties in Gurgaon and Greater Noida. He was looking to buy the residential property from an investment perspective. Now, just like any common man with black or white money (none of my business) in his pocket, he threw a plethora of questions on the poor property dealer. What is the current price in this region, that region, and that region?…what was the price last year? Is the property rights true or not?…what do you think of residential property appreciation?….what makes residential property go up & down?…and many such simple but make no mistake important questions.

Now, let me explain you why i called the property dealer “poor” because most of them are in the business not by choice but by ‘no choice’. There is a saying these days “In India, whoever is out of job is either a Neta or a property dealer”. However, they seem to be good at facilitating things and in the process makes a good commission if deal comes through. Now, asking these simple yet important questions to these property dealers is not going to satisfy many of the common people just like my friend.

So, what makes residential property prices go up & down? Lets Break It Down (L BID) to smaller elements. We all would agree that Demand and Supply are the two smaller elements of movement in property prices.

Now, what affects Demand? L BID again and we get 5 core smaller elements:

  • Economic base (Nature of employment in the region under consideration)
  • Income assessment of the people living in that region
  • Population Growth
  • Interest rate trends
  • Property tax rates

Just to illustrate, one would have noticed that certain regions are dominated by particular industry (IT in Bangalore) and income levels of people in IT industry are higher compared to say manufacturing industry. What do we understand from this?? I guess, you guessed it right, if population growth and interest rate trends are favorable then residential property rates would appreciate much faster in IT dominated region than in manufacturing region.

Now, what affects Supply? L BID again and we get 3 core smaller elements:

  • Land availability
  • Factors of production such as labor, capital(money), materials
  • Environmental restrictions, building codes, other regulations

Just to illustrate, one would have noticed that in certain regions huge amount of land is available such as outskirts of major metro cities (Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad around Delhi). Since there is shortage of usable land in Delhi, the property prices tends to move up because for a limited amount of land thousands of people are running and each one has the money to outclass the other. In-fact, within a city say Delhi, in certain areas such as GK, because of shortage of usable land and other appealing facilities such as retail, educational, recreational, etc. the prices tend to move up compared to other areas within Delhi.

Finally, having understood the Demand & Supply elements, the current market equilibrium is done in order to understand the current property rates and why they are moving up or down.

So folks, whenever in doubt regarding the property prices or related things, L BID the issue and don’t throw these questions on poor chap (property dealer).