Where Is The Happiness In RERA’s First Birthday Celebration?
The growing pains are being immensely felt, if we were to discuss the progress made by the one-year-old law that was touted, among many other things, a game-changer and something that was expected to end all the problems buyers in India faced before it coming into being. The real estate Act’s first birthday (the law came into effect on May 1, 2017), however, does not seem a happy occasion if you sampled some data.
-Eight states have to notify the law.
-Only Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab have set up full-time Real estate regulatory authority. This leaves 26 states in the country without a regulator.
-Only 19 states and Union Territories have a functional portal. If one attempted to open the websites, however, one would be greatly confused by the information. Most of it comes across as a half-baked lacking-in-essence job.
-Only 15 have been able to set work towards setting up real estate appellate tribunals. So, currently, these are not many tribunals to deliver the justice promised by the law.
Such has been the noisy song and dance around the launch of the Act that it is only with a touch of schadenfreude that consumers often talk’s about the authorities’ utter failure to put in place the basic structure for the law to function, often setting aside the grudge that their own hopes have been dashed in process. Since little humility was shown at the time of the launch of the Act from the government’s side highlighting its many merits, it is only natural that the disappointed parties, especially developers, are showing no mildness in their criticism. It all seems only justifiable.
However, if one set aside the extremities for a while, it would not be hard to miss the change in the way homes were bought and sold in the country before the launch of the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016.
The word “RERA”, as the law if often referred to, is now part of every perspective buyer’s vocabulary. That in itself is a change. It has become common knowledge among buyers that builders not registered with the real estate regulatory authority must be avoided at all costs. Gone are the days when buyers fell once-in-a-lifetime sort of opportunities that ended badly for them. Also gone is the time when caution would be tossed into a corner and emotions would take charge when one started a home-buying journey.
Little wonder then that new project launches fell 60 per cent in the first three months of 2018 when compared to first three months of the previous year — data available with PropTiger.com show.
“The realty market is experiencing consolidation as unorganised players are struggling to cope with stringent compliance norms under the real estate Act. It is now clear that only credible developers who conduct their business with transparency will survive in the future. This is good from a buyer’s perspective as one is assured of a quality product within stipulated timelines,” says Surendra Hiranandani of House of Hiranandani.
The teething problems at home notwithstanding, India’s real estate is perceived differently by foreign investors today because of the launch of the Act.
“It (the Act) has increased transparency and credibility (of India’s real estate sector)… investors are now looking at Indian real estate with renewed vigour,” Hiranandani adds.
The naysayers would like to disagree, but the little ways in which the one-year-old real estate law has impacted buyer sentiments is undeniable. Let authorities’ failure to set up formal structures not lead you to believe that the entire exercise has been futile. Today, the buyer is well aware and wide awake. Everything else will follow suit, sooner or later.