Bottom Line: A pan-India survey by Track2Realty BrandXReport 2017-18 finds that a large number of Indians are not convinced with the reforms like RERA. They question what are the tangible gains & changes that these reforms have made for them.
This may not be music to the ears of the developers who are hoping against the hope that the recent policy changes & reforms would bring the homebuyers back to the market. But the ground reality is that for a vast majority of the Indian homebuyers the measures like demonetization, GST, RERA or Benami Transaction Act are more for academic discussions than making any tangible changes for them on ground.
No less than around two-third, as many as 64% homebuyers have questioned as to what does these holier-than-thou reforms mean for them. Even more in number, as many as 70% maintain their experience in the housing market has been no better in recent times. A substantial number of homebuyers, 58% to be precise, even question the intent of the policy makers in getting the policies like RERA implemented in its true earnest.
These are the findings of a pan-India survey by Track2Realty for the annual brand rating, Track2Realty BrandXReport 2017-18. The survey was aimed at understanding the emerging eco system in the sector and its critical linkage to trust level of homebuyers.
The survey has been conducted for the sixth consecutive year in 20 cities – Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Lucknow, Bhopal, Patna, Bhuvneshwar, Coimbatore, Pune and Chandigarh – between March 10 and March 31, 2018.
A structured set of questions that was based on the trust & transparency in the sector & understanding about the recent policy changes leading to their purchase decision was given to the respondents. They belonged to a mix of the luxury, mid-segment and affordable buyers. The survey tried to capture the mind of the homebuyers who need a house but are skeptical to commit due to the prevailing lack of transparency.
Do the Indian homebuyers feel the reforms have instilled a sense of fear in the minds of the erring builders? Nearly all, as many as whopping 88%, reject this assumption and maintain that the developers are gradually adapting to the changed regulations and are finding ways & means to escape as well.
Will the policy changes make the developers more accountable? More than half of the respondents, as many as 54%, feel it may be making the developers more accountable to the authorities but definitely not to the buyers. Even much larger in number, 78% to be precise, feel the government agencies are so closely linked to the developers that the buyer is never the focal point of reforms.
“When the government agencies are not a party to these so-called reforms like RERA, I have no hope of any meaningful changes. In this business the party that has the more financial clout will always get soft gloves by the government officials. And we all know who has the financial clout – builder or the buyer,” maintains Ankit Sharma in Mumbai.
A substantial number of Indians, as many as 80%, think the developers have been given escape route with their ongoing projects; a space where maximum violations and cheating has taken place. Worse even, no less than 72% buyers are dejected to the extent that they have no hope left to get their homes even after waiting way beyond the delivery deadline.
“Just think of the joke! A developer who has launched a project as way back as in 2002 and has been repeatedly failing to deliver since 2008. Now with his RERA registration, his fresh completion deadline is 2022. The RERA officials seem to be clueless when the developers are giving arbitrary deadlines. I mean are we homebuyers investing into a house for our grand children?” questions Priyanka Saraswat in Gurgaon.
A vast majority of Indians, 58%, feel the reforms are half hearted efforts by the government as the powers-to-be do not wish to rattle a business that funds the elections. 64% feel there is absolutely no point in going to RERA as it would be the beginning of a long battle from RERA office to the higher courts. The buyers maintain that the builder understands that the fight for years is not within the means of buyers.
“The builder is asking for escalation charges which is not the part of the BBA (Builder-Buyer Agreement). Over and above that he is asking for additional Super Built-up Area which can neither be calculated by us nor has been exceeded with the consent of the majority of the buyers. Now that we have approached the RERA the builder is harassing us by all means and has refused the handover,” says a dejected Manu Chaudhary in Greater Noida West.
Next: Reforms hurt than helped homebuyers?