Traditionally, the festive quarter fares better than the previous quarters of the year when it comes to housing sales – the combination of religious sentiment and festive deals and freebies is a potent mix during this part of the year. For instance, Q4 2015 saw 70,000 homes sold in the seven major cities. However, as tempting as it was for developers to believe that this was an unshakeable performance standard, it was certainly shaken just a year later. After demonetization (DeMo) was announced in this critical quarter in 2016, housing sales halved to 32,100 units.
Lack of affordability in the larger cities is the primary hurdle to the largest investor base, and property investors are now looking at smaller towns and cities. However, their increasing bullishness on Tier 2 & 3 cities as against their tier 1 counterparts is not just on account of their relatively more affordable property prices, but also because of their better growth prospects.
The country’s housing market has also seen the highest impact of policy-induced disruptions. Given the fact that the housing market was tainted by malpractices and lack of customer-centricity by developers, the Government had to step in with policy interventions squarely aimed at cleaning up the sector.
Various Government-driven policies including ease of doing business in India are attracting both Indian and global companies, squarely benefiting commercial real estate. Big-bang boosters like the start-up revolution and the Make in India and Smart Cities missions have created a very lucrative environment for businesses to work and expand in India.
As per ANAROCK data, the top 7 cities currently have a total stock of 5.6 lakh delayed housing units worth a whopping INR 4,51,750 crore. These units were launched either in 2013 or before that. Lakhs of buyers across top cities – particularly MMR and NCR – have been left in limbo, leading to inconceivable mental stress and financial pain.
The issue of stalled or delayed project is one of the major pain points of the Indian real estate sector currently. With buyers feeling the heat of delays, it is not surprising that some are now considering completing the projects themselves. This falls within the realm of possibility if the project in question has sufficient cash flows but is delayed for other reasons.
RERA was supposed to save the day for homebuyers, but that doesn’t seem to have happened – at least not yet. In many states RERA, in its present form, is currently either non-existent or a pale shade of what it was intended to be.
With so much money around and developers mostly uneducated, it is the senior functionaries in most of the real estate companies who create their own cartel of corruption. Sales leads that are generated within the company are generally leaked to the brokers and the brokerage is distributed with the sales, marketing or the corporate communication, depending upon their clout within the organisation.
I often question how will honest journalism survive in this eco system. It is not that I don’t face the challenges and resistance of not being a party to this cartel of corruption. Forget the builders, even a large section of builders’ ‘paid & pet’ journalists have issues with me. I am, after all, a game spoiler for them who is spreading the negativity with brutal honest and ruthless journalism.
Although sustainable real estate is still in a nascent stage in the country, India is actually one of the leading counties when it comes to green buildings development. In fact, India ranks only second after the U.S. in terms of the number of green technology projects and built-up area.