First housing start-up index shows sluggish growth in major cities

The number of housing start-ups in the country showed a decline in cities with population of over a million such as Kolkatta, Chennai and Bangalore and a rise in smaller cities such as Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Hubli, Dehradun, Sangli etc, according to the housing start-up index released for the first time.

First housing start-up index shows sluggish growth in major citiesThe union ministry of housing and urban  poverty alleviation together with the Reserve  Bank of India today released the first of the  pilot `housing start-up index' (HSUI), which covers 27 cities across the country.

Releasing the figures at a function, minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation Girija Vyas said because of close linkages of the housing sector and the spillover effects on nearly 254 ancillary industries and the contribution of this sector to about 10 per cent of the GDP, HSUI has great significance as a key macroeconomic indicator.

The index, she said, is the first of its kind and makes India only the 7th in the world to have such an index.

Internationally, only 6 developed countries,  namely Canada, the United States, Japan, France, Australia and New Zealand are  compiling data related to housing start-ups, on a regular basis, she said.

The minister said the pilot index will cover 27 cities and efforts will be made to expand it to 300 cities in the near future.

The index will act as a tool for policy makers and administrators to understand the future focus and thrust areas not only in terms of housing provision, but all the associated infrastructure and civic amenities required.

She said the results would form useful inputs for the schemes being run by the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation, such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM), Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), and Rajiv Rinn Yojana (RRY), which are focused on increasing housing supply for the urban poor.