A major test looms for our real estate reforms2 min read . Updated: 30 Aug 2022, 06:41 AM IST
Regulation brought in about half a decade ago was expected to discipline a market given to unfair treatment of homebuyers. As RERA project deadlines near, its impact will be tested
Clouds of dust from Sunday’s demolition of two Supertech buildings have settled, but they cannot cover the reality of India’s real estate sector—in particular, the numerous unfinished apartment blocks that hulk over the Noida-Greater Noida landscape. For many homebuyers, the Supreme Court-ordered razing of those twin towers in Noida was proof that the law can catch up with builders and government officials in cahoots with them. But the question remains: What will deter future violations by rogue real estate players? As of June 2022, according to an estimate by a realty consultancy firm, the construction of about 240,000 homes remains stalled in the National Capital Region (NCR) alone. This problem has long been in the making. Till around 2015, the NCR was the boom zone of a weakly regulated business. Builders, many with political links, embarked on reckless expansion, buying up land of dodgy provenance, selling the dream of vast townships to an aspiring middle-class. Much of this was fuelled by speculator money. Left holding the raw end of bargains were real homebuyers who were promised homes that were either delivered after years of delay—at far higher effective prices than they had signed up for—or which were never built at all. Once the boom ended, many marquee names went bust.