Housing price inflation declines to 4-year low: RBI

 New Delhi: Housing price inflation has slipped to nearly four-year low to below 4 percent, a survey by the Reserve Bank said on Thursday.

It said that housing prices rose by 61 percent during the last four and half years, with Jaipur recording the highest growth of 78 percent.

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 percent, whereas the lowest growth was recorded in Greater Chandigarh and Hyderabad at around 40 percent, 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 percent in first quarter of 2011-12 to almost 28 percent in third quarter of 2012-13.

“However, the trend reversed thereafter and it slid below 4 percent 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 percent 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).