New Delhi: The new real estate regulation has helped Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Ltd tap customers in the affordable housing segment by bringing in much-needed transparency and accountability, the mortgage lender said on Thursday.

The Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) will empower all stakeholders—consumers, developers, brokers and intermediaries, said Renu Sud Karnad, managing director of HDFC. The Act took effect from 1 May, and is seen as a progressive reform in the real estate sector. The legislation aims to protect homebuyers and encourage genuine private players.

Nearly half the states have notified the rules under the Act so far.

While there will be some teething problems on account of new norms, this structural reform will benefit the entire housing ecosystem, Karnad said at the Asia Pacific Housing Forum event.

“This change in the recent past has also brought to fore the enablers for housing finance players be it banks or HFCs (housing finance companies) like us to tap into the affordable segment. These enablers have opened up an entirely new set of customers for us to provide housing finance" she said.

Besides, she added, HDFC is innovating with technology and putting big thrust on mobile channels to tap the huge segment of customers with high disposable income and those in the unorganised sector.

With digital drive and over a billion mobile phone subscribers, digital initiative will go a long way in making personal credit paperless and geographically agnostic, Karnad said.

“Therefore it is imperative for housing finance companies like us and other players to adopt to technology and reach out to this untapped segment of customers," Karnad said.

She said penetration of mobile phones and Internet will help in dissemination of information about financial products and services at a very lost cost and minimum physical documentation to a vast portion of the population, which throws open a huge untapped customers segment.

Further, she said, giving the housing segment the status of infrastructure will go a long way as it will ultimately bring down the cost of loans for consumers.