72 years of Independence for the Indian Housing Sector
Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants, shares, “As India embarks on another year of independence, the country’s real estate sector has a lot to be grateful for, a lot to hope for – and still a lot to worry about.
Amidst the dual challenges of liquidity crisis and stuck projects that hang like persistent thunderclouds over the sector, we nevertheless inch closer to the ultimate goal of Housing for All by 2022.”
From the viewpoint of stuck and delayed projects, the freedom to buy homes has turned into shackles for many. Over 1.74 lakh homes in 220 projects across the top seven cities are completely stalled. Housing worth over INR 1.77 lakh Crore is in limbo with zero construction activity.
The affected buyers exercised their freedom of choice – only to see their hard-earned money imprisoned with scarce prospects of parole until recently.
Nevertheless, this state of affairs is not unilateral and countless more Indians have indeed successfully achieved freedom from rent. Though not nearly as fast as can be hoped for, housing sales are picking up. In sharp contrast to earlier years, the Government has now given affordable housing a distinct identity and several valuable incentives.
2019 also saw rental housing being given its first tangible push. After decades of languishing in the dungeons of obsolescence, India’s rental laws are being unfettered with an upgrade in the Draft Model Tenancy Act, 2019. Finally, the trust deficit between tenants and landlords can be bridged and both parties’ rights and obligations are being clearly defined.
The most recent Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 promises to unleash a brand-new level of freedom to consumers – the freedom from misleading promotions. RERA had already clearly defined the acceptable from the unacceptable when it comes to real estate promotions, and this bill adds further muscle to consumer rights.
The era of misleading and/or inaccurate promotion of housing projects – including by celebrities – without fear of legal backlash is finally coming to an end.
And, finally, buying real estate in Jammu & Kashmir is actually something people from outside this long-disputed region will be at liberty to consider – once the dust of change settles.