Times “A-changing” Will Be Rewarding For Reputed Developers
Addressing Global Citizen Festival earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked Nobel laureate Bod Dylan to send across the message — change was going to be the consistent feature of his regime.
"Come mothers and fathers, throughout the land, and don't criticise, what you can't understand. Your sons and your daughters, are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly agin'. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand, for the times they are a-changin'" Modi quoted the lines from Dylan's popular number, The Times They Are A-Changin, that was released in 1964.
Many construed this as an apparent reference to the demonitisation drive he announced on a rare televised address to the nation on November 8, and conjectures on what the future holds started pouring in.
As far as the real estate sector is concerned, analysts and experts are unanimous in their opinions that prices are ready to see a great fall as the times have indeed changed. PM's demonetisation move is going to stop the use of unaccounted money in real estate transactions, bring prices down. The Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016, which is in process of getting implemented, on the other hand, will cure the sector from all that ails it. It is also expected that Modi's next move would be against benami property transactions. However, these songs of hopes have marked an edgy tone that is hard to miss. Somewhere between hoping for a thorough cleanup of the sector and expectations of price fall, experts are using terms such as transparency and accountability as scare words for real estate developers.
Yes, there have been project delays causing home buyers a lot of trouble. Yes, one cannot deny that the number of frauds in the sector have seen an upshot. And, yes, there have been fly-by-night players bringing bad name for the sector. However, by harping on the negatives, the critics often fail to give the positives their due.
What about the real estate developers who have earned for themselves a good reputation by doing work over the years? The ones that delivered their projects on time, only engaged themselves in all-white transactions and did everything prescribed in the rulebook. We might be undermining the effort of this section — not to mention the fact that this is the section a home buyer will normally go with — when we subtly indicate the measures to clean up India's real estate sector are meant to punish developers somehow. It's not often we find reports that say reputed developers are going to find these changing times rather rewarding.
At a time when urbanisation of infrastructure is the government's top priority, hurting the sentiments of real estate developers, whose role will be crucial in the implementation, might not be a good idea. Neither would it be fair, to be sure.