DELHI: As the year 2013 becomes part of our collective memory, a quick rap up leaves us enriched with the experience of the passing year. It was both exciting and disappointing year for the Indian real estate sector. While the introduction of the Real Estate Regulatory Bill in Lok Sabha and consent to the Land Acquisition Bill in the parliament will reap benefits in the future, slowing economy left the real estate fraternity disappointing from the point of view of expectations. The RBI’s bold decision to hold the REPO rate at the end of the year has helped the sector enter the New Year with optimism in air.
As we move into 2014, it is very important to gauge the mood of home buyers. Majority of them want to buy a home since they are staying in rented rooms/apartments. A firm policy aligned with reality of our times to encourage affordable housing will ensure inclusive development. The FDI in multi-brand retail will also boost the demand for commercial real estate in 2014. Since it opens the entry of major MNC retail brands in India, the organised retail sector will see a major transformation in terms of its overall contribution to the economy. The recent policy initiatives are expected to improve the investment climate and business environment and likely to benefit the real estate sector in 2014.
We expect the industry to come back strongly in 2014 overcoming the current slowdown plaguing the sector from last few months. However, this would not be possible without concrete policy support of the central government and the RBI. We are hoping that the outcome of the general elections would definitely have positive bearing on the economy. Each segment of our economy, be it consumer or businessman or investor, is eagerly awaiting the formation of the next government.
The annual report of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation puts the number of people living in slums in cities 93 million, showing massive three-fold increase between 1981 and 2011. Due to metro-centered development process and influx of working force from rural area, the statistics show the housing deficit of 18.78 million units in urban areas. If we break it down to segments, then, the EWS segment alone accounts for 10.55 million units, the LIG segment required 7.41 million housing units and combination of MIG and HIG had a deficit of 0.82 million. To fill this yawning gap, there is an urgent need of a holistic policy to realize the dream of makaan to everyone. The major challenge lies in developing a mechanism or institutional support from the financial institutions to the real estate sector. We hope that 2014 may see some action on this front.