NEW DELHI: Here's a shocking piece of news for those waiting to take possession of their homes next year. A new survey has found that nearly half of the 323,000 homes to be delivered in 2013 are lagging behind construction schedule, with a third not ready for a housewarming before 2014.
In addition, nearly three of every four homes promised for delivery in 2014 are also likely to be delayed, real estate research firm Liases Foras has found in a nationwide survey conducted recently.
"There have always been delays, but it is a bigger concern today as the quantum of homes being built is much larger now," says Deepak Parekh, chairman of India's biggest mortgage lender HDFC Ltd.
"Everyone's money is stuck. It is not only bad for homebuyers, but also for the economy," adds DK Mittal, secretary, department of financial services.
The problem that began in 2010, when the economy started to weaken, has aggravated in the last one year due to paucity of funds as well as delays in securing approvals. Home sales have slowed down, private equity has dried up, the primary market is subdued, and banks have been reluctant to lend to builders. A combination of consumer activism, agitation by farmers, bureaucratic delays, labour shortage and legal wrangles has also contributed to holding up projects.
The delays leave lakhs of homebuyers to grapple with another problem in the midst of rising prices and a slowing economy. "Individual homebuyers have the option of taking recourse to the law, but almost no one does so as it is a cumbersome process and may lead to further delays if the builder digs in his heels," says Vaibhav Gaggar, partner at law firm Gaggar & Associates, which helps clients in real estate disputes, among others.