New Delhi: The Economy Strikes Back
Hyman Minsky, the noted American economist, linked an economy's life cycle with speculative investment bubbles which are endogenous to it. He stated that during prosperous times when the economy booms, corporate cash flows rise higher than corporate debts, and this leads to speculative euphoria.
This euphoria continues to develop, allowing borrowers to borrow more until their income streams become inadequate to service their debts, creating a financial crisis. This speculative borrowing bubble then causes banks and financial institutions to reduce lending, which in turn causes a further contraction in the overall economy.
Our economy is currently facing such a contraction. Overall economic activity has slowed, with GDP growth estimated at 4.9% in 2013-2014. True, this is an improvement of 40 bps over the previous year and we have seen growth in the traditional agricultural and allied sectors; however, industrial output and manufacturing in India are currently in a stagnant mode in terms of growth.
What This Means For Real Estate
While infrastructure has been hit by rising input costs and delayed approvals, asset prices for residential real estate have recovered and grown over the past two years. The increasing residential asset prices have given rise to a potential bubble, causing stagnation over the past two quarters. From a pan-India perspective, new launches in the residential sector have dwindled over 2013, as developers have been looking at disposing of existing stocks to generate cash flow.
With project funding becoming expensive and buyers showing a lower propensity to purchase in view of unfavourable prices, developers have found it difficult to generate cash and service their debts. This state of affairs is also likely to create greater risks for lenders.