Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The REAL %@$#@^&$!!!

I'd spoken earlier about prices of groceries & real estate not coming down, despite inflation having come down wonderfully well.

The basic reason is obvious to everyone: Greed. One of the Seven Deadly Sins. If only these guys were devout enough... but their god is made of bank note paper.

Let's focus, for now, on the real estate prices joke that we've witnessed for the past few years.

One can understand the scarcity of space in Bombay & it's status as India's premier city, therefore one can understand rising prices there. But not to the degree that they rose to!

Beyond a point, the fault lies with people who're willing to buy at whatever rate is being quoted. The fault lies with the so-called investor (I prefer to call them gamblers), and the unawakened customer. They should just refuse to buy beyond a price point!

The first category doesn't do that (despite them not needing the damn houses at all!) because they're greedy gamblers. They want to speculate on rising prices, in order to sell to the next idiot who is willing to buy it at a substantially higher price, either out of more greed, or because the idiot is a customer who needs a house to live in, but doesn't understand the logic of not giving in to the seller's price!

The unawakened customer is the one that I seek to address through this post.
Jaago Graahak Jaago!
The money is YOURS! Unless buying a house is an absolute necessity (& to understand necessity, please put yourselves in the shoes of a homeless person who sleeps on the cold footpath!), don't part with the money at a rate that doesn't make sense!
The problem is that today we have access to loans. The bank is willing to give us money. So we make the mistake of believing that we have the money, we can afford it! THAT is not your money!
Imagine if banks weren't handing out loans. What would we have done? Looked at our meagre bank balance & postponed buying of a house till we had enough. And when we had enough, we'd just look for options that fit our budget.
With no one spending easy money in the real estate sector, the sector would behave itself! We wouldn't see the kind of imagined pricing that we see today!

I have a few suggestions, apart from the one above & the link above:

1. Start a non-profit, non-aligned, price regulation body. It can be a real-estate consumer rights NGO, that will survey every locality in every town & publish what the buying rate should be.
And no awakened consumer should buy above this recommended rate!
To ensure incorruptability, a panel (of 12?) should decide the prices instead of 1 or 2 people.

2. With price control in the real estate market, it will also become a less lucrative investment for goons, the underworld etc. A cleaner industry, with less arm twisting, less black money, more transparency is what we will get!

Reader thoughts solicited.


  1. it is not just the unawakened / greedy consumer. it is the consortium of evil of all the successful or monied rather and the general ideological mantra of success that is unique to the generation that plays a large part in it.

    any attempt to regulate will be dismissed and worse condemned as a the rise of the license Raj once again (as if thats been dismantled in the first place)

    wall street will screw and then get bail-outs...with people's money...the script is cliched...and the people...they can go to hell

    you hear conscientious urban development authorities and all are of the opinion that low-cost housing for all can actually kick-start development in a country like India.

    It has additional benefits - increased hygienic standards, can solve the problem of slums in urban centers and also correct class hatred that happens when a poor person living on the street looks at all the glass and glamour around.

    but...great post though...salute

  2. astral~,

    There is hope. We can bring about the change. If we step up to it, we can.

    Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you like it! Spread the good word.


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