A year has rolled by since RERA came into action. However, there is a long way to go in terms of RERA driving the realty sector towards the ideal state of operations and development.
A year has rolled by since the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) came into action, with the objective of bringing back fair play to the housing and real estate sector. The desire was to make the market into less of a minefield for homebuyers like it was up until a few months ago, with rampant malpractices and corruption. The question remains, have homebuyers indeed been bolstered with a stronger regulatory mechanism to ensure the expected fairness and transparency?
To be honest, homebuyers have indeed slowly but progressively started to return to the market. With the bottleneck created by malpractices and corruption, being dismantled, customers have started to bestow faith on the reviewed prices, with renewed interest. However, to put things into perspective, let it be known that there is a long way to go in terms of RERA driving the sector towards the ideal state of operations and development.
However, what the RERA has accomplished is to certainly get the ball rolling in a sector that needed a mandatory clean-up after years and years of underhand practices and one-sided dealings that gave customers very little say. Real estate developers as well as brokers have to be now careful about how they wish to conduct business. This is because short of keeping the customer’s best interests at heart; the RERA has left them no other business pitches.
Developers have to now make good on whatever they have promised in the older project launches, to ensure they still have a customer base that is willing to do business with them on the newer projects. The false advertising practices have been eliminated in the process. These factors have contributed to reviving business in real estate, with sales looking up in metropolitans and many other urban centres. It is a sign of positivity that the customer base has started having some faith towards the real estate developers and brokers.
NCR has seen some uptake in the sales figures, especially select pockets of Gurgaon and Noida. Even Mumbai witnessed some positive signs in sales, giving some breathing space to real estate developers in the largest metropolitan of the country. The top 7 cities of the country have witnesses as much as a 12% growth in sales by the month of March, spelling bountiful first quarter. This gives statisticians and pundits in the domain salient indications to conclude that the market may truly be poised to make a comeback, banking on the shoulders of serious real estate buyers.
The RERA has definitely snatched the power out of the hands of real estate developers and brokers who felt they could tune the market to their pleasing. It is very much pronounced at this point that customer-centricity is the flavour of the RERA. And not just the brokers and developers themselves; stakeholders who are involved with the real estate development, marketing and sales are also accountable to be answerable to the customer and the regulator.
The RERA has also vested transparency in the hands of real estate buyers with information becoming the weapon of choice for many. Information related to the property, the address, the location, the builders, their past and future projects, et al. Thus, it has become immensely difficult to falsify details of a project. In the end, the idea is to bring in more transparency in the property dealings and create an environment of trust and confidence. This will take time, however, the best part is that the process has begun!
(By Sunny Katyal, Director, Investors Clinic)