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The Bright Side - November 8, 2008. Times Property (Times of India)

There are great opportunities even in times like this and one should take advantage of these when you see them

Panic seems to have gripped all markets, be it stock, commodities or real estate. I, for one, think this 'jolt' of financial crisis was the only way to wake everyone up. Like most things we take for granted are not 'Things', this situation will allow everyone to slow down and relook at real numbers. It will also allow folks who thought they had missed the boat either to buy or invest.

Wait and watch seems to be the mantra for now. Everyone is on a pause mode. I know there are great opportunities in times like this and one should take advantage of the same as and when you see one. We have witnessed a phenomenal rise from 2005 to 2008 as seen in the chart here - almost 300% to 400% in most locations. These 11 locations highlighted here would be your front-runners setting benchmarks for other locations just like the BSE 30 stocks.

Currently we are only witnessing correction and it will continue to be so till the prices reach the levels as mentioned on page one 'benchmark'. Sellers and developers around the city added their premium to the benchmark prices.

One of the first to correct their prices in south Mumbai is Orbit Corporation. I had an informal chat with my friend and developer Pujit Agarwal - MD and CEO of the company to learn that on their 'inner city' properties they have already corrected their prices. A few developers in North Mumbai in locations like Juhu, Andheri and Malad too have corrected their prices by 15 odd per cent, but are not willing to go on record yet. Now, this is the way to go. The first movers will always have the advantage.

There is no fall or dip in prices yet! If the prices for top-end properties breaches the levels mentioned in the 'Benchmark' we will be able to call it a fall in prices. Cash/credit crunch with almost zero sales have driven certain developers into a panic state. This is a good opportunity for buyers/investors who thought they had missed the boat.

On a global level the Indian community is being wooed by the likes of Donald Trump as Indians are viewed as the cash rich community with buying power and it is true.

From New Zealand to Canada developers are reaching out to Indians at large. For us the India story still holds strong; as for anyone from outside of India looking at emerging markets with buying power, India seems to be the only destination with English speaking population with warm and hospitable culture to expand business and for NRIs and PIOs, a destination to come back home to.

As for Mumbai it is the Los Angeles and Manhattan and beyond. With the movie, television and media companies, stock and financial markets, gold and diamond, cloth and chemical market, to almost all trading activity is maximum from this city. Every MNC, bank, corporate to career seeker looks at Mumbai.

    In the long run cities like Mumbai, Hongkong, Singapore, London, New York, and Tokyo, which are the leading commercial capitals, will always hold strong.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL