CREDAI Conclave 2013 Presents 'Real Estate Outlook for the Year 2014'

The real estate's biggest body CREDAI today concluded the two day CREDAI Conclave themed on 'Housing the game changer leading to double-digit GDP growth' in Delhi. Industry voices from across sectors such as parliamentarians, social activists and top notch real estate captains came together at the biggest platform of real estate - CREDAI Conclave.

The main highlights at the conclave this year were the urgency in setting up of a real estate regulator and applauding the contribution of the sector to the GDP of our country were the main highlights

Appended below are the key highlights/announcements discussed at the National Conclave:

Affordable housing was a much discussed topic at the conclave. Developers at the conclave agreed that though in the last five years, there has been a lot of progress on the affordable housing front, a lot more needs to be done to give a boost to this segment of housing.

Vikram Jain, Lead, low-income housing practice at Monitor Deloitte, a management consulting firm, said that there is a huge demand for low income housing. "There is a demand for 15 million homes and the demand for these homes comes from buyers with an income of Rs. 10,000-25,000 per month," he said.

The solution to the demand for affordable housing is to build homes with clear title, provide water and electricity, said Jain. "The idea is to build small flats of 229 sq. ft. flat in space, with no wastage of space, costing around Rs. 8 lakh," he said. Lalit Kumar Jain, Chairman, CREDAI, ruled that the real estate sector receives a step motherly treatment from the government. "The real estate sector's contribution to GDP is 6.2% and it employs over 1 crore people. Yet, you have ignored the sector," Jain said.

Jain said there is a lot of frustration among real estate developers over the treatment meted out to the sector. "The infrastructure sector gets 10 year moratorium but if we don't pay our loan within 90 days, it goes into default. We try to do our work with transparency then why are we shunned by the government," he said.

Rajnath Singh, BJP President, today asked real estate developers to send a list of its demands to the party, so that they can be included in the BJP's Lok Sabha election manifesto. "We will try and do our best for the sector," he said.

Singh said the BJP believes housing sector, infrastructure sector and manufacturing sector should be given importance. "Manufacturing sector growth should have been good. There is no dearth of demand in international market but we are not producing enough to export. The result is we are importing more and exporting less. This is the reason for increase in current account deficit, external debt and weakening rupee. We need a comprehensive thinking to solve this problem," said Singh adding that the party has formed a team to prepare a vision document.

Rajnath Singh recalled that when the NDA government was in place, the government had focused on infrastructure development and housing sector development. "We reduced interest rate on housing loan. We also focused on infrastructure development through national highway projects. Incidentally, I was the surface transport minister during NDA regime," he said.

He further added that the NDA government had reduced housing loan interest, which led to capital formation, which in turn led to a boom in steel and cement industry. Singh cited statistics to show the difference in growth between NDA and UPA regimes. According to data from National Sample Survey Organisation, between 2004-2010, there was employment generation to the tune of 27 lakh whereas between 1998-2004, employment generation was around Rs. 6 crore 70 lakh. "We generated more employment because of our focus on infrastructure development and real estate," Singh said.

It was not just BJP, but Rajiv Shukla, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and planning, Secretary, All India Congress Committee, also asked real estate developers to send a detailed report on the problems ailing the sector. Shukla asked CREDAI to create a delegation of developers and approach the planning commission. "We will take your problems to the concerned ministries. Don't worry about the upcoming elections. The government will work till the last day," he said.

Shukla said that he was confident that if this sector is helped, the country can again achieve GDP growth rate of 8-9%. "We are facing crisis of current account deficit, which had gone up to the tune of 80 billion dollars, which has now come down," said Shukla. He assured CREDAI that RBI is doing its best to fix current account deficit. "That can only be accomplished with the co-operation of real estate developers, since NRI's are interested in buying property here," he said.

Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Giriji Vyas, today assured real estate developers that the real estate regulatory bill will be suitably modified if necessary. Speaking at a real estate conclave organized by CREDAI in New Delhi, Dr. Vyas said the industry should not have any fears about the real estate regulatory bill. "There is no reason for worrying about this. We will talk to you first on the real estate regulatory bill," she said.

In what could be a relief for the real estate sector, Dr. Vyas agreed that the government will do a rethink on multiple taxation of the real estate sector. "We will think about relaxing Floor Space Index (FSI) norms as well and on relaxing loan facility to the sector," she said.