Mar 26, 2009

Do Indian Newspapers Report False Real Estate Prices??

Almost all the Indian newspapers that I read on a daily basis have started an exclusive section called 'Real Estate'. This particluar section is a major revenue generator for them because I see a lots of advertisement on the pages.

On the right hand side of the main page there was a column that talked about the rates that are 'prevalent' in the Delhi/NCR region. I was absolutely shocked to read the prices, they were higher than what even the brokers were quoting. The Source of the property rates in various locations of Delhi/NCR was a property website.

So I picked that newspaper and website and started some analysis. (I will not take newspaper or names of the property website for obvious reasons.)

The 'prevelant price of any product be it cement, steel , stocks, food, property is determined by the 'Transaction' price. For the benefit of the starters when a trade happens it has two prices. One is the 'Seller' Price , which is the price at which seller quotes a product. Other is the 'Bid' Price, which is the price which buyer is willing to pay for the product. And when the seller and buyer price matches the product is sold at a price which is called 'transaction' price. The same principle applies across all markets and stock exchanges of the world.

So if a seller wants to sell a house at $200,000 but the buyer is willing to pay only $150,000 the transaction does not happen. Now if somebody asks what is the 'Prevalent' rate of the house. What do you say? Do you quote Seller's price $200,000 or the $150,000 which buyer is willing to pay. We know that no transaction happened. Here the newspapers fool peole by doing a small fraud.

I logged in to the property website whose source the newspaper had quoted and started looking for rates in Delhi/NCR region. I noticed that the 'prevalent' property prices quoted were the "Seller' Price. It was not the price at which the 'transactions' were happening. The property websites in UK always report the 'Transaction' price in an area. It doesn't matter what stupid price the 'Seller' wanted to sell his house for.

If some persons log into a website and wants to sell 1 BHK for 1 million dollars, does it become the so called 'prevalent' prices in that area. who is validating it? No one. And all these newspapers report these ambiguous rates.

Interestingly on the same property website there was Find buyer section where I tried to find what is the price a buyer is willing to pay for the 'property' in Delhi/NCR area. There were more than 45K buyer's and they also had mentioned the price they were willing to pay for the house.
Below is the chart. You can see the number of buyers who have the budget between a price range.

(Click on image to enlarge)

So you have seen that these are the kind of prices a buyer is willing to pay for the house. This is the 'prevalent' rates of property. This is the price at which the supply should come in.
You can see that hardly there is any demand for houses priced at above 60 lakhs INR. But 90% of the prices are above 60 lacs. Even after my IIT degree I am not able to undertand the maths of the property websites, newspapers and the builders. Clearly some nexus exists between them.

Let us create the awareness movement and let us tell to everyone so that these guys are not able to fool us.

Mar 17, 2009

India Misleads on Inflation Figures

A very big fraud has been happening right under our nose in India and we were all taking False Claims of Indian authorities all this while.  

Almost every Friday Since last 7 months we are cheering up that Indian inflation is coming down. Is it really true? Prices are going up like anything.

India calculates its official inflation based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI) rather than Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation. WPI is never an indication of the inflation simply because the consumers do not buy from wholesale markets. They buy at retail level. Most economies like US, UK, Japan, France, Singapore, and China etc. have selected CPI as its official barometer to weigh its inflation. And hold your breath even Pakistan follows CPI. (And all that while you laughed at high inflation in that country).

But our country, India, is amongst rare countries of the world, which uses WPI as its official scale to measure the inflation in the economy. Simply because WPI is always lower than CPI, thereby painting a false picture to the electorate that prices have fallen. So figures of 2.63% as claimed by Indian authorities are untrue. As per CPI our inflation figures stand at 10.5% in January up from 9.7% in December. Now you can make out the huge difference between WPI and CPI, 6.5%!

If that is the reason why CPI is being used by Indian authorities? I see two main reasons.

  1. Since WPI figures are always lower than CPI, the innocent public of India is fooled into believing that prices are coming down and hide the actual price rise on the pocket of consumer.
  2. WPI index tells us about commodity producers, manufacturers, bulk sellers and market owners. A low WPI is an indication to them that their selling prices rate is decreasing and gives them all good reasons to raise the wholesale prices. After all money for elections come from these rich people.

If we see Academically also the WPI calculation in India is flawed.

1st Flaw - At least 1,918 quotations should be received for assessing changes in WPI but Indian authorities invite not more than 1200 quotations. So price information is not even.

2nd Flaw – From 435 commodities in WPI , more than 100 are no more important from consumer point of view so the price fall in these 100 commodities does not really affect the Indian consumers.

3rd Flaw - There is a huge difference between the provisional and final index figure!! Once in April 12, 2008, the provisional figure of inflation was 7.33, which were revised as final inflation figure of 7.95 what a healthy error!!

4th Flaw - WPI measures the general level of price changes at the level of either the wholesaler or at the producer and does not take into account retail margins. WPI does not reflect the actual price hike, which the consumer is paying.

5th Flaw - Service sectors are not duly accounted in WPI. Service sector like health and education are important as consumers are increasingly spending more money on these items. So if education fee goes up or Doctor fees goes up, it doesn’t matter to Indian government.

6th Flaw - WPI measures the price changes from the production side and never from the consumption side It is surely a lop sided viewpoint of consumers.

Besides all these Frauds Indian Authorities will thump their chests at bringing down the Inflation. That’s what I call 'Shamelessness'

Mar 12, 2009

Realty sector to be under scanner

Real Estate sector in India is undoubtedly the most corrupt sector in India. Even though Satyam Scandal happened in IT sector, one must not forget that its root lied in Real Estate ( Maytas Infrastructure.). Read on this report from Hindu

Striking a note of caution for real estate developers, Mr D. Subrahmanyam, Executive Director of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO), said, after Information Technology, the real estate sector could next fall under the scanner of regulators in transparency matters.

HUDCO is a fully-owned enterprise of the Government of India engaged in financing housing projects and other urban developments. Addressing a seminar at the Realty Expo 2009, organised by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), he said, “The next target of the national regulator after the Satyam scam may be the realty sector as it is known to contain elements indulging in unethical practices.” Speculation on real estate transactions by both buyers and sellers often result in pricing out of genuine buyers from the market, he observed.

The banks and financial institutions refrain from financing real estate projects as company balance sheets and other corporate papers often lack transparency, he said. “The asset agreement is considered a weak ownership document as a mortgage for financing documents,” he said, adding that some developers also deliberately avoid taking completion certificates.

On the strategies to be adopted in a period of slump, he said, “The developers should make a realistic study of demand and supply situation and affordability issues before investing in projects.” The sector also needed a grater degree of regulation, he pointed out.

Mr Harshvardhan Neotia, Chairman of the Ambuja Realty Group, said the current correction in real estate prices and costs is healthy for the industry as it gives leeway for the developers to become more vigilant and quality conscious. Mr Pradip Kumar Chopra, Chairman, PS group, said on the sidelines of the seminar that prices of housing units in Kolkata were down by nearly 25 per cent on an average.

Mr Jayanta Kumar Sinha, Chief General Manager of the State Bank of India, said there is good demand for houses from “genuine buyers” and that the situation would stabilise during the next financial year as cost of loans were being rationalised. ( Note that
SBI is hands in glove with the present government to prop up prices and hence comes this statement)

The Realty Expo 2009 is being held here at the Science City grounds from March 4-8.

Mar 9, 2009

Votes Bought in India

India is a democratic country, however as I had mentioned earlier that even the institution of democracy has been corrupted by Indian politicians.

Center of Media Studies conducted a survey just now and the results showed that votes are purchased by political parties by paying cash! Imagine that happening in a country that claims itself to be the world's largest democracy!!

The study started with a sample size of 18,000 voters in 19 states and 23,000 households belonging to the below poverty line (BPL) category in 2007. Please not that it did not cover other inducements like liquor or freebies and focussed only on the assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Had they clubbed it, the results would have been worse.

According to the Survey National average of people who took cash to cast their votes was found to be 22 percent in the general category and 37 percent in BPL families. Poor felows fail to understand that the same cash is taken by the elected leaders as 'bribes' once they come back to power.

The Topmost Indian States in Cash for Vote Corruption
1. Andhra Pradesh, 94 percent of BPL category voters had accepted money to vote ( No doubt Satyam Computers was found and is registered in this state.)
2. Tamil Nadu with 78 percent (No Comments!)
3. Karnataka and Chhattisgarh with 73 percent (Karnataka is the IT face of India !)
4. Assam with 56 percent
5. Orissa with 50 percent.
Note that Prosperous states like Gujarat and Maharashtra reported 24 percent and 13 percent general category voters respectively taking money, while among the BPL households the figure is 32 percent for both states.

The lowest figure - of 13 percent - was in states ruled by Left parties like Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura and similarly for the Bahujan Samaj Party. It is quite believable since these party use muscle power (henchmen, dons) to terrorise and gather votes rather than money power. Don't think these parties are good, these parties are far worse.

Even in Delhi, 25 percent of the voters received money for their vote which is shocking.

This is the face of Democracy in India. The Largest populated democracy. This is India Shining.

Mar 3, 2009

Retail Investor Fooled Again

I wonder why 'Retail Investors' are called 'Small' Investors. It is because there brain is small, their intelligence is small.
This class of investor has time and again been fooled by Promoters, Analysts and Brokers. They are fooled into beleiving the great Indian Stock Market Story and always get the hurt the most.
I remember the times during 1992 crash of Indian Stock Market. The retail investor lost more money after the crash rather than before it.

It works on a simple philosophy.
During Bull Runs the Big Sharks hoard stocks before the retail investor, this simply means that cost of buying of Big players is always lower than that of retail investor. Now when stock markets start crashing these Big Guys just can't go out and sell their stocks. There has to be someone to buy them.. Right??

At these times the Analysts start coming out with stories that these are the right times to buy the stock get the blue chips. Its a dip use this opportunity, Invest Invest. We have seen last year when Sensex was at 15,000 a lot of so called Market Experts ( I do not want to take the names here, a little googling will tell you ) were telling retail investors to enter for profits on 1-2 year time frame. The Retail Investor buys , Big players get an exit route and they sell.
Thus Retail Investor thus buy something which Smart people want to sell.
And as always Indian Retail Investor invests more in a Bear Market rather than in a Bull Market. Analysts do their Job of writing articles for bribe.

If you see the table below you will find that FIIs sold 13.5 billion equities last year. Mutual Funds bought 2 billion. Domestic Institutions / LIC bought not more than 4 Bn till date. The promoter buy back was just a sham to prop up their stocks. (DLF fooled everyone by their buy-back news). Now interesting question? Who bought rest 7.5 Bn dollars worth of Equities in India? You get it right. Retail Investor. Who has been fooled again.

Table 1: Net Equity Purchased / Sold by FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors) and Mutual Funds


Mutual Funds















































13.4 bn

2 bn

As I finish writing this article in Month of March-09 FIIs have additionally sold USD 500 Mn and Mutual Funds sold USD 200 Mn.

Mar 1, 2009

55 million Indians pushed below the poverty line

Now this is one development that is likely to give the ruling UPA government sleepless nights especially when general elections are a sniffing distance away. Kolkata based Indian Statistical Institute has just come out with a results of a survey from about 124,000 households across the country. And the results of the survey have punched a big hole in the present government’s claim that it has been able to alleviate poverty in the country during its regime. Infact, if the results are to be believed, about a staggering 55 m people have been further pushed below the poverty line. This, at a time when the country recorded its best economic growth ever. A sorry state of affairs indeed as what the country needs is not lopsided economic growth where the rich get richer but a more equitable growth whereby the benefits of higher growth percolate down to the poorest sections of the society.

Is this India Shining? Best Investment Place? Read a related article below

Dancing with a bear is risky

M.J. Akbar Arab News

Instead of banning opinion polls during election time, the government should ban subversive academic organizations like Kolkata’s Indian Statistical Institute (ISI). Opinion polls and exit polls are way off the mark, so why bother? A ban only betrays the nervousness of a government anxious to come back to power, but uncertain about how this will happen.

It is true that the slightest shift in the electoral demographic could send a government from the heaven of office to the hell of irrelevance. But does the Cabinet of Dr. Manmohan Singh and the party of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi actually believe that the Indian voter sits biting his nails before a television set in order to make up his mind about how he will vote? The really accurate psephologist is not a pseudo-scientist available on hire, but the social scientist whose name you do not know.

The facts that are molding the mood of the voter have been gathered by the ISI, based on data collated by the National Sample Survey Organization from about 124,000 households across the country. Get ready for a sharp crack in your first illusion. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, through its economic spokesman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, has sold us the bait that poverty has gone down under its watch. Fact: The number of people living below the poverty line has actually increased by a horrifying 20 percent. India had some 270 million people below the poverty line in 2004-5, when the present government took office. That number has gone up by 55 million, or 20 percent, after five years of policies named after the “aam aadmi” (common man) but shaped for the “khaas aadmi” (vested interests).

The economic map of India has shifted the axis of tension. The old notional north-south line that divided the country into broad politico-cultural halves is passe. There is a new poverty diagonal that separates the nation on a north-west to south-east arc. The India to the east is sinking toward Bangladesh and Burma; India to the west is rising, and becoming the stuff of popular aspiration and fantasy.

If you want to know why Mamata Banerjee could undermine the ramparts of the red fortress in Bengal, pore over the ISI report. A stunning 14 out of Bengal’s 18 districts are among the 100 poorest in India, after three decades of Marxist rule. The most indigent district in the country is not in Bihar, Orissa or Jharkhand, but in Bengal, Murshidabad, capital of a principality that once included the whole of Bengal, Orissa and a significant part of Bihar. When Robert Clive stepped into Murshidabad in 1757 after victory in the Battle of Plassey, he looked around in wonder and exclaimed that it was richer than London. Today he would look around and find women slaving away, making bidis at the rate of 41 rupees for a thousand, out of which the middleman keeps six rupees. In percentage terms, the rich pay far less to their middlemen.

Muslim-majority Murshidabad has a population density of 1,102 per square km against a national average of 590. Among its constituencies is Jangipur. Its member of Parliament is Pranab Mukherjee, the current finance minister. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Marxists were pushed back in Bengal but won Jangipur, as the law of accountability began to extract its price? The job losses that could cross over a hundred million by March are going to have significant impact on voter mood. January saw a fall of 24 percent in exports from last year. Realists consider the Reserve Bank of India’s projection of 7 percent growth optimistic. Rising India might be under a cloud for the last six months, but Stagnant India has been in gloom for years. There is little coverage of this gloom since media are driven by advertising; advertising is interested in consumption, and the hungry do not even consume food.

It is extraordinary how political parties shy away from decisive facts, and chase ephemeral ones. The extended BJP family is sending vigilantes to check on what the young are doing in their leisure time, but displays little interest in what the young really want — someone to worry about their workplace. It is understandable when a ruling party shies away from the economy because it has no answers. Why should an opposition party be averse? All it has to do is ask questions.

The political discourse, on all sides, is consumed not by issues that are relevant to the voter, but by posturing and negotiations for partnerships of convenience. The parties do not even pretend to have any ideology in common, or even a purpose that is vaguely similar.

Everyone knows that the negotiations for office after the results will have little to do with the manifestos that will be printed before the elections. There is only one weight that will be placed on the scales of judgment, the weight of numbers. (The scales of justice have no place in politics.) One is often reminded, while watching the pantomime, that when you dance with a bear you don’t stop. Those who stop get mauled before they can walk off.

A friend reminded me of an even more appropriate aphorism, and was kind enough to add that this had become relevant to the whole of South Asia. The quotation was from Alice in Wonderland. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.