The July-September quarter figures released by the National Housing Bank (NHB) point to a mixed trend in property prices across the country. Nine of the cities covered by India's first property price index, NHB Residex, show a downward trend, while the remaining six have witnessed a rise.

While property prices show a mixed trend for the latest quarter vis-a-vis the previous quarter, a year-on-year comparison showed an appreciation, except in two cities.

The indices for Patna and Hyderabad have fallen below the previous year's July-September level and that for Kochi and Kolkata has remained unchanged.

NHB data say that among the nine cities that have witnessed a fall in the index between the two quarters this year, Kochi has shown the sharpest trend with a nine per cent decline. Hyderabad has shown a fall of eight per cent; Bhopal and Surat seven per cent; Faridabad six per cent; Ahmedabad and Lucknow four per cent; Patna three per cent; and Kolkata two per cent.

On the other hand, the city which showed the maximum gain in the price index was Pune at 13 per cent. Chennai followed with a nine per cent rise, while the Mumbai and Delhi index rose seven and five per cent, respectively. The Jaipur index was up two per cent and Bangalore's showed a rise of one per cent. The NHB Residex considers only prices for residential property in various zones and locations within a city as per the classification devised for the purpose of preparing the index.

Residex takes 2007 as the base year and the price indices for cities such as Kochi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Bangalore remain below the base year. Kochi's current price index is 97 and Bangalore's 93. The index for Hyderabad is 84, while Jaipur remains at the lowest level with a price index of 65. Chennai has shown the sharpest appreciation in property prices between 2007 and now. The city's current index is 271. Bhopal, Faridabad, Lucknow, Pune, and Surat are the other cities that have shown appreciation.

K.A. MARTIN