Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Real Impact of the RERA Act

It’s been over four months since the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) came into effect in India. While the much-welcome move from the Indian parliament came as a boon for home-buyers in the country, there were (and still are) a lot of teething issues for developers and builders and the real-estate sector as a whole.

As is known, the RERA Act covers all projects that were still being executed and hadn’t received a Completion Certificate as on the date of commencement of RERA Act, that is May 1, 2017. Thus, many under-construction properties have come under the ambit of the RERA Act. All of these projects had to be registered with the housing regulatory authority, and the developers or builders concerned had to provide regular updates on the approvals at various levels. All these registered properties have to follow the rules of RERA.


  • The Much-Needed Respite

One of the highlights in the RERA guidelines is that any real-estate property, be it a luxury apartment in OMR Chennai or a simple 2BHK in a suburban location of Mumbai, will be priced on the basis of the carpet area, and not the super built-up area. As per a report in The Economic Times, BMR & Associates LLP’s Manoj N Kumar, who is a Partner in Direct Tax, has clarified that the carpet area is 30–35% lesser than the super built-up area of a project. The sale of projects on a carpet-area basis can lead to a significant increase in the per-square-foot price of the project, he adds.


  • The WIP Bane

The newly introduced rules under the RERA Act bring about a major transformation in the way real-estate dealings have been taking place in India. Switching to the new rules was expected to take some time, especially in the case of under-construction properties that have already seen a lot of paperwork. And, as can be seen, the shifting of gears has slowed down the growth of the sector in many states. The properties that were under construction at the cusp of the switch to RERA are bearing the worst brunt as their regularization and documentation had to be changed midway. And, until these properties get completed, their respective builders and developers are not willing to start off with new projects. This means, there is a lot of pressure on them to complete the ongoing projects and sell them, failing which there will be a pile-up of unsold inventory.


  • The DeMon-RERA Impact

Experts express unison in the opinion that the demonetization drive by the Indian government in November 2016 was a blow to the real-estate sector because of the unprecedented and heavy cash crunch that made an appearance without any warning. Add to that, the RERA Act has forced builders and developers to mend their ways and set things straight, and bring about transparency at every level.

The back-to-back moves by the Indian government have taken the businessmen in the sector by shock, and it is only natural that they will need time to ensure things are in order. Until then, the sector is expected to continue facing a slowdown. However, given the motive of RERA to ensure thorough regularization and accountability in real estate, it is believed that the sector will start looking up gradually and that the benefits of the Act will be here to stay.


This is a guest post by Dinesh Dhawde

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