Affordable Housing to Remain in Focus in 2019

Affordable Housing to Remain in Focus in 2019

Spurred by the Modi government’s ‘Housing for all by 2022’ programme, and combined with other incentives given to homebuyers, affordable housing is likely to remain in focus in 2019

Industry experts say that even though commercial realty hogged the limelight in 2018, affordable housing is going to give it a tough competition — not only in 2019, but also in the next few years. Anuj Puri, chairman of ANAROCK Property Consultants, says: “Even as India continues to make its mark globally and seeks to improve its urban living conditions, access to quality affordable housing is still a far-fetched dream for most of the citizens. Dearth of affordable homes is only growing, with deficit numbers predicted to reach 3 crore by 2022. The current government understands that quality, quantity, availability, and affordability of housing are the key drivers for a country’s economic competitiveness. Accordingly, it has rolled out various incentives and schemes, not least the PMAY mission.”

In fact, PMAY is the primary reason why affordable housing has gained so much focus over the last few years. Affordable mass-housing projects by reputed developers continue to draw selective private equity investments in a market which currently considers commercial real estate to be a safer bet.

These factors vouchsafe the viability of this critical housing segment — not only today, but as long as it takes to narrow the current deficit down to market-significant levels.

“ The government push for affordable housing has reaped good dividends for developers in a very short time. For instance, in Bengaluru, a few developers have launched affordable projects on lands which they had earmarked for more premium projects. In Haryana, as per HRERA, around 50,000 units have been launched under the affordable housing scheme of the government. With the right intervention from governments, momentum in the affordable housing segment will continue,” Maneesh Gupta, head of valuation services at Colliers International India, says.

Ssumit Berry, MD of BDI Group, says: “Affordable housing will remain in focus this year, as this segment will enhance the government’s ‘Housing for all’ programme. The government’s reforms like RERA and initiatives like PMAY will both complement each other in further development of this segment. Another important point is that the trend of affordable housing is now shifting towards semi-urban areas too. Projects in areas like Bhiwadi, Sonipat, and Greater Noida will attract the low and midincome migrants. It will push the demand for affordable housing in the future.”

Industry experts say that as far as the housing sector is concerned, 2018 has been bad for the public at large.

“Continued delay in delivery, siphoning off public funds, lack of credibility, insolvency, and non-adherence of the regulations by builders increased court cases and disappointment, hurting buyers’ sentiment and faith in real estate as an industry. This has created a huge gap in supply and demand, increasing the number of empty housing units. However, RERA, if implemented properly, may bring back homebuyers’ faith in the industry. Similarly, bringing down GST may make homes a little more affordable. We hope that these positive steps taken together will give a further push to affordable homes in 2019,” Neh Srivastava, under secretary, ministry of home affairs, and president of Central Secretariat Service Officers Society (CSSOS), said.— MS

Source : TOI

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