India's residential market grows 12% in March quarter By STAFF REPORTER The Global House Price Index of Knight Frank recorded its weakest annual performance since the depths of the recession in 2009, recording only 0.9 per cent growth in the year to March 2012 as prices remained flat in the first three months of 2012. India recorded 12 per cent growth in the residential market, ranking third in the Global House Price Index. Brazil recorded the strongest annual growth (23.5 per cent), followed by Estonia with a growth rate of 13.9 per cent, India with a growth rate of 12 per cent over the past one year. The Knight Frank Global House Price Index established in 2006 is the definitive means for investors and developers to monitor and compare the performance of mainstream residential markets across the world. The index is compiled on a quarterly basis using official government statistics or central bank data where available. On a regional basis house prices are falling fastest in Africa (-0.8 per cent). Growth in Asia Pacific has slowed to 2.1 per cent. During the first quarter of 2012, house prices fell in 58 per cent of the countries monitored by the index. Doubts over the euro zone’s future, along with the Asian government’s staunch efforts to cool their markets and deter speculative investment, have taken their toll. The Chinese housing market has had a tough 12 months as developers and purchasers alike have had bank finance squeezed as a consequence of the ongoing cooling measures. Lending restrictions, new taxes, the curbing of multiple property purchases, and new regulations to restrict the inward flow of hot foreign money have had the desired effect. The Asian tiger now resembles something of a domestic cat as far as house prices are concerned, mainly to government efforts to cool price inflation. The region saw average annual price growth exceed 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2010, but two years later this figure is closer to 2 per cent. The region’s growth still exceeds the global average but the margins have shrunk considerably. “The Chinese housing market has had a tough 12 months as developers and purchasers alike have had bank finance squeezed as a consequence of the ongoing cooling measures. Lending restrictions, new taxes, the curbing of multiple property purchases, and new regulations to restrict the inward flow of hot foreign money have had the desired effect," said Nicholas Holt, director of Research in Asia Pacific at Knight Frank.