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Soon, an index for housing

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2011 00:16 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
Moushumi Das Gupta
Hindustan Times
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Is the housing sector actually booming? Or is the growth only artificial? How much is it contributing to the economy? What will be the housing demand in future?

Soon, the economists and policy makers would have clarity to these questions, which play a crucial role in indicating the way country’s economy is going.

The country is all set to get its first housing start up index (HSUI). HSUI is a measure of housing construction activity. At present, only five other countries in the world have a HSUI of their own.

A joint initiative of the RBI and the housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry, the first set of figures for six cities is expected by the end of March. The index would come up every quarterly and the data is being collected for the last three quarters.

The six cities include Vishakhapatnam, Surat and Pune. The process of collecting data and ground survey has already started. It is being done by the National Building Organization, which comes under the housing ministry.

"It would help in indicating whether the economy is booming or going down as roughly about 200 industries like cement, steel, etc are dependent on the construction and housing sector," the ministry official said.

Questions like the total number of building permit issued, total area where construction has come up, total number of building plans sanctioned and how much actual construction has happened in a particular area form part of the survey questionnaire.