The national capital region, India’s biggest property market by volume, faced downward pressure on housing prices in the past year while other major markets saw prices move up a tad, data from the National Housing Bank (NHB) show.

According to the NHB’s RESIDEX index, the price index of Delhi-NCR slipped 4.5 per cent to a seven-quarter low of 190 in the first quarter of 2015 from 199 a year earlier. This is the only market among the top seven cities to have seen the price index drop over the past four quarters, hurt by slow sales and alarming inventory level.

“Most markets of north India, which are mostly driven by investors, have shown a price correction,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director at real estate research firm Liases Foras. “But end-user markets are holding on. Investors are ready to exit at a cut, so the secondary market has seen some 5-7 per cent correction.”

The base year for NHB RESIDEX is 2007. The NHB tracks pricing trends across 26 cities and looks at prices of new properties as well as captures trends in the secondary market based on loans taken for property purchases. The data are collated on a quarterly basis with a lag of seven to eight months.

Here is a look at how the index has moved over the past year:

The strongest growth was clocked by Pune realty market with its price index rising to 251 for the January-March period from 232 a year earlier. An end-user driven market, Pune has shown resilience compared to other markets even though latest sales and inventory numbers of the city are not encouraging.

Pune was followed by IT city Bangalore, which saw its price index increase to 115 from 107. Other major markets also saw marginal growth in their indices.

If a longer time horizon is factored in, Chennai and Pune realty markets have seen the fastest price appreciation and have beaten bigger markets like Delhi-NCR and Mumbai.

A recent Fitch Ratings report noted that southern cities, particularly Chennai, have shown stronger price growth than northern cities.

Here is a look at how prices have moved over time.

The Fitch report also said that there has not been a major price correction in India’s main regions and cities since 2011.

Kapoor of Liases Foras said that all major regions, except Hyderabad, are now facing downward pressure on prices because of rising inventory level and slow sales. “We don’t see year-on-year price growth of 10 per cent. It is maximum one or two per cent and in some cases even negative,” said Kapoor.

While the government has made efforts to help the real estate sector, sales and prices are unlikely to pick up in the short term.

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