Skip to main content

The 1 Cee R Club



This morning's papers tell me that the residents of Chandigarh  are willing to `shell out as much as Rs 1 crore (twice the actual cost) to own a two-bedroom flat.' And this is a state government-run development ( Chandigarh Housing Board). So while it might be a competent build, it might not have the bells and whistles private developers throw in.

This is not to say the residents of Chandigarh cannot afford Rs 1 crore ($210,000) apartments, particularly for a Housing Board construction. Sure they can. A realtor taking me around in a distant north Mumbai suburb last  weekend told  to forget thinking about buying a good place if I had less than 1 Cee R in my pocket. What he meant is Rs 1 crore . The realtors/brokers say `Cee R', because they think its respectful  in case you don't belong to this exclusive club. Thankfully, the family was looking for a place to rent and not to buy.

The latest Economist has an interesting survey called Bricks & Slaughter, arguing that while property is widely seen as  a safe asset, it might be the most dangerous of them all. Try telling that to the folks in Chandigarh. The Economist piece also talks about  (alongside  advertisements for gleaming new condos in Singapore where you can work, play, live and grow and luxury villas in Gurgaon, near Delhi, where `Fine living rarely gets any finer')  the famous Burj Khalifa, the 388 metre structure in Dubai.  Many flats inside lie empty, as do houses in many parts of the world from the United States to Spain.

Say It With Pride

All of which might seem like alien nations to us in India. Chests brim with pride when it comes to property prices. It's an achievement for which you've worked hard by spotting at the right time and place.  The realtor told me that there was more supply coming up in this distant north Mumbai suburb. "So ?" I asked. "So prices will always be stable or they will keep rising," he told me with the eternal confidence I have come to expect from this breed.

At one level there is nothing exclusive about a club whose tentacles have now spread to the farthest corners of the country. I do wonder, often, why so few people consider  rising asset prices  a problem. Actually, even inflation is barely a problem -  it's a sign of growth which we crave for. Then I wonder if we really have the brainpower to fix the problem of asset prices. And then I wonder again whether the brainpower that there is keeps it that way, by managing and benefiting from such supply-demand imbalances. Hint: one very enterprising young man from  this world was thrown into jail recently.

Oil prices are rising. I asked in an earlier post whether we were ready for a situation when oil would hit $200 a barrel as has been widely predicted. Well, the answer is evidently no. But at least we think about it. When it comes to rising property  prices, we've stopped thinking. Welcome to the 1 Cee R Club. Too bad if you don't belong.

Comments

Anuradha said…
You should sometimes go out with the property dealers of Gurgaon, who would not even entertain you of your budget is not in multiple Cee Rs. And how openly they ask how much can you pay in cash and if you tell them nothing, you can ensured that they have blacklisted you.

Popular posts from this blog

The Gatecrashers Of New Delhi Airport

Am traveling again, this time I pass through the hallowed gates of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport. If you want to showcase how Incredible India is, this is the classic one. And it makes me wonder whether the ownership really transferred into private hands. Anyway, the experience kicks off nice and early as I drive up the incline. A long traffic jam has developed. My driver alternately jams the accelerator and brakes to stay in one place. And its raining heavily.

The airport is packed with people, even more than Mumbai and Hyderabad airports, whose vast collections of crowds usually amaze me. Like all other airports in India, roughly 95% of the folks who visit the airport ain’t going anywhere. They are here to see off the other 5%, or is it 2% in New Delhi. Most of them travel very long distances.

Passengers like me are a hopeless minority. In every way possible. For a moment I thought I would give up and return, so challenging did the task of entering the terminal appear. T…

Why Did Aamir Khan Swing For Narmada ?

He is not the first celebrity to do so. But he’s turned out to be the most radical, activist Bollywood filmstar by far, all in day's time..at least as far as my memory serves me.

The reasons why he would back the Narmada Bachao Aandolan
could be several. Ranging from the fact that a cousin associated with the movement influenced him to the fact that he was in and out of the Kutch for six months whilst the shooting of Lagaan.

Lets assume all that contributed significantly. Still, why join the protestors in the manner he did ? Why become a face for the movement ? Knowing well there could be consequences that may not be the most desirable.

Dammed If You Do..

To his credit, he did not buckle to the mob frenzy that followed his signing up a few days ago. Instead, he calmly called the attention of all and sundry and asked if these were really the politicians and political parties they wanted to be led by ? He even accused the political parties of trying to bully him.

There are those who de…

Why ISB Might Beat The IIMs

Im pretty sure these headlines are unintentional. I saw one this evening which said, "ISB declines to reveal boy's identity." Another one, "ISB is not revealing boy's identity, yet."

Im sure you had the same thoughts I would have had. Some heinous crime has been committed and an organisation that goes by the initials of ISB is refusing to give up the accused.

The Indian School of Business is in the news. A graduate student has bagged a $233,800 (Rs 1.04 crore) job. That beats the previous record set by the IIMs.

Recently, IIM Bangalore kicked up a fuss saying they didn't want to turn their placement season into a circus and their students into animals in a temporary zoo. Makes sense I guess. ISB has picked up from there. And refuses to part with the lucky chap's identity. That makes him lucky twice over. He earns the money and gets to keep it, since the Bhais won't find him easily.


Totally Biased

For various, totally biased reasons, I would like to …