Real Estate sector is in dire straits

The tight liquidity condition and the rise in interest rates have affected realty sector hard. Because of the RBI’s policy of discouraging banks in lending to real estate developers, the fund flow to the sector has dwindled.

This might even force a number of units to close down. The construction sector, which is the second largest employment provider in the country, is facing tough time because of the government policies, says CMD of Parsvnath Developers, Pradip Jain. He says that government must change its policy and allow the flow of funds at low interest rates so that people may buy houses. He said that banks should be allowed to lend directly to developers to meet their construction schedule.

This, he emphasized, will enable the sector to tide over the current crisis and help save the jobs of lakhs of poor construction labourers. Builders and developers feel that interest rates on home loans should be brought down to less than 10% from the present 13% to enable end users to buy houses. Since the global financial crisis came to a head, the banks have been discouraging home loan customers. The floating home loan rates of most of the banks have gone up to 13%. This has affected the affordability of end users.

The EMI of the same amount of loan for 20 years has gone up by almost 50% in the last four years as the interest rates have gone up from 7% to 13%. In fact, a senior developer says the problem arose after the government and the RBI started treating the real estate sector as a den of speculators. He says that instead of finding a remedy for the market crisis, they decided to kill the sector itself by discouraging banks from giving loans to developers.

CMD of Assotech, Sanjiv Srivastava , says that the sector played an important role in the high growth of new economies like IT, BPO and retail by providing them state-of-the-art buildings with all amenities, matching their new requirements. The crux of the matter is that the new economies grew only in those cities where world-class realty development first started.

In the NCR also, after the realty development first kicked off in Gurgaon, it came up as a hub of IT and BPO centres. Later, because of the availability of quality retail space, organized retail in the form of malls also came up, with Gurgaon showing the way, once again. Only after similar quality constructions started in Noida, did all these new economic activities start moving to that suburb.

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