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Shopping doesn't stop

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Still shopping Meltdown or high prices, the shopping hasn’t stopped
Still shopping Meltdown or high prices, the shopping hasn’t stopped

The financial meltdown and job losses are on another planet for urge-to-splurge Hyderabadis

Acouple walk into a jewelleryshowroom in Somajiguda."Nose stud," saysthe lady in the diamondshowroom. The shophandshows the tiniest one. "Don'twe have a bigger one?"

"If you are looking for a bigsolitaire, you can choose fromthe ear rings and we can give itto you," says the shophand.Across the aisle, another couplecheck out diamond andemerald encrusted earrings.Meltdown, recession, globalcrisis. What are they? Thewords from business dailiesand breathless news anchors?Oh they don't mean a thing inHyderabad.

"Last year we had bettersales around this time," saysthe manager of the jewelleryshowroom. The same tonewith different words areechoed by an electronicsshowroom owner in Panjagutta:"Demand is less," he says.Both the statements need tobe taken with a pinch of salt asno businessman ever saysbusiness is good for fear of attractingbad karma or IncomeTax folks.

Last year, the price of goldwas Rs. 10,085 in October2007, this year it is Rs. 13,325for 10 grammes at a time whenthe international gold pricesare dipping. But the shoppershaven't dipped, the investorsmaybe but not the shoppers.Just to get an index, four hugemalls have opened in the city,if one is a leisure mall in Rd no36 Banjara Hills, anotherbrands itself as a hypermart inSomajiguda.

While electronic goodsshowrooms crib about decliningsales, two electronic mallshave opened recently, one inPanjagutta and another onRoad no 1, Banjara Hills. Havea doubt? Then check theround ball of steel that the securityguard carries. The numbersare ticking.

However, a multiplicity of factors have helped force thereal estate market into a plateau."More than the Telanganasentiment, it is thedifficulty in getting bank loansand the higher interest ratesthat have affected the market.But if you want to buy anapartment thinking priceshave come down you will get ashock.

Prices haven't come down,the brokers are just biddingtheir time," says RavikiranReddy, a builder from Attapur.

SERISH NANISETTI

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