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Optimism in the air

The stock market indices are climbing up steadily, precious metals are seeing an increased demand and companies are beginning to hire once more.

'I got shot off my horse. So what? I’m up again.'

The economy seems to have taken more than a hint from this Mark Knopfler song, and is pulling itself out of what many believed was an abyss. What everybody thought would be a long, recessionary winter turned out to be a slowdown, which was undoubtedly bad, but not as miserable as anticipated.

The stock market indices are climbing up steadily, precious metals are seeing an increased demand and companies are beginning to hire once more. The recent inflation and price data releases also show signs of positive movement. Of course, things need to improve a whole lot more, but there’s a definite optimism in the air.

Does this renewed hope stretch to the middle-class earner thinking in terms of expensive, long-term investments? Specifically, a house. Yes, almost everyone wants to own one, but we are talking about buying a house purely as an investment. Are people prepared to invest lakhs of rupees in an option that is just beginning to come out of the doldrums?

In association with property portal 99acres.com, we decided to gauge the mood of buyers, builders and brokers. The results showed a surprising degree of certainty among all the players that things were going to get better. It also revealed that a large number of people were thinking of buying a house as an investment (although an equally large number refused to answer this question).

The bottom line is that we have absolute proof the market has seen the worst and is rising. This is the best time in the real estate cycle for an investor—low entry levels, with the promise of high returns in the medium to long term. This is also traditionally the time to buy land and gold, so we believe our cover story hits all the right notes. People are upbeat and we hope this festive season will mark the beginning of a season of prosperity.