Independence Day

Anuj PuriAnuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

When we reflect on India’s 71 year-long independence in context with real estate, one thought overshadows all others – affordable housing. No nation can call itself truly self-sufficient until there is a roof over every head.

We can talk about increased transparency and efficiency, but this has true relevance only if it is not just the industry that benefits but also the common man.

Embodying this very basic but profound premise, the Modi Government’s election manifesto of providing Housing for all by 2022 definitely rang all the right bells.

Obviously, it boils down to unleashing a massive number of affordable homes, and the Government has certainly gone the extra mile to make that happen. Unfortunately, what we have seen so far is more marketing hype than genuinely affordable housing.

Many developers have climbed on the ‘affordable housing’ bandwagon, but actually the term ‘affordable’ is in most cases just being misused to ostensibly show alignment to the ‘Housing for All’ mission.

Of course, builders have been generously applying terms like ‘affordable’ and ‘luxurious’

Independence day

Anuj PuriAnuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

In the 71 years since India gained independence, the country’s real estate market has changed tremendously.

While it has not always been consumer-favouring throughout this period, it is certainly so today. The country’s cities have expanded, new economic drivers have come in and jobs are being created at all levels.

Likewise, appropriate housing is now being created for all income levels. The current Government has taken the needs of the people to heart and deployed various policy initiatives to ensure that homeownership becomes affordable and desirable.

Like the real estate market itself, the market for housing loans has become very competitive, giving consumers the edge of choice. Moreover, property prices have also rationalized across the country after the Government’s demonetization move late last year.

While it was initially expected that only the resale homes and land markets would be affected, it quickly became evident that the lowered sentiment had percolated in primary sales as well.

Many of the most important changes to positively impact home buyers in India so far have been at the policy level,

 Prashant Thakur, Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants

Nestled in the foothills of Aravalli – one of the oldest range of folded mountains in India – Sohna was for long a major tourist attraction due to its lakes, hot springs, temples and many places of historical importance.

Located in the southern part of Gurugram, Sohna is also popularly known as ‘South Gurugram’. In the last few decades, Gurugram’s unprecedented economic growth has led to accelerated urbanization and rapid growth in migrant population flocking the city for employment.

Over time, the fast-paced growth in key areas such as MG Road, Udyog Vihar and Cyber City has created a ripple effect and pushed developments towards the western and southern parts of the city. This led to the emergence of new areas such as Golf Course Road, Golf Course Extension Road, Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) and Sohna Road – leading right up to Sohna town.

With proximity to various business centres and industrial clusters, good overall accessibility, affordable prices and planned infrastructure upgrades, Sohna is evolving as a key real estate destination for the working population of Gurugaram and surrounding regions.

Anuj Puri, Chairman – Anarock Property Consultants

After recognizing a massive gap of housing in India, the Union government had announced ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 in July 2015 to achieve the staggering target of bridging a gap of more 1.9 crore houses. 96% out of these are required for the Lower Income Groups (LIG) and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) groups.

In India, while the population is growing at more than 2.1% every year and may touch 1.51 billion by 2030, growth in housing has been unable to keep the same pace. The Central and States governments are now contemplating many ways and means to provide access to housing for all.

Affordable housing will not only fill the housing gap but be the next major economic growth driver by creating more than 2 million jobs during the period till 2022. To fill the massive gap of affordable housing in India, the government has come up with a spate of many initiatives:

  • To encourage the PPP (Public Private Partnerships) module which can amplify affordable housing, the Union Budget 2016-17 announced that developers would be exempt from paying tax on profits in this segment for five years starting 2016
  • The Government has increased the time limit to complete affordable housing projects from 3 to 5 years.

Anuj Puri, Chairman – Anarock Property Consultants

In the 71 years since India gained independence, the country’s real estate market has changed tremendously. While it has not always been consumer-favouring throughout this period, it is certainly so today.

The country’s cities have expanded, new economic drivers have come in and jobs are being created at all levels. Likewise, appropriate housing is now being created for all income levels.

The current Government has taken the needs of the people to heart and deployed various policy initiatives to ensure that homeownership becomes affordable and desirable.

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

Affordable housing is not just about providing homes to the lower-income strata of society, though that is what the Modi government’s avowed intention behind the ‘Housing for All by 2022‘ doubtlessly is.

Affordable housing creation also has a direct and favourable correlation with the nation’s economy, as well as most other real estate segments. Housing for lower-income wage earners increases the economic strength of any city or region, as it attracts inward migration which creates a bigger manpower pool.

This, in turn, boosts the viability of opening up industries and businesses in the region, translating into more demand for commercial real estate spaces. Formal and informal retail is also attracted to residential catchments, translating into consummate demand for retail spaces in and around such catchments.

Finally, affordable housing in India coexists quite benevolently and beneficially with mid-income housing, as the middle class invariably depends on the services of lower-income earners to keep its show going, so to speak.

In cities like Mumbai, lower-income housing existing alongside the super-expensive abodes of ultra-HNIs is also not considered an anomaly.