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India's Top Builders on the expected impact of RERA, GST and REITs for real estate in 2019!

December 2018
While 2018 has seen the teething problems of RERA and GST fast settling, which has also resulted in to substantial growth in new launches; India's leading builders see a positive impact of the reforms with growth prospects across sectors.

"RERA will be a good thing in the long term when we expect the industry to see more consolidation as weaker companies may divest. In the short term, real estate developers are facing a few challenges in navigating the policy, in the sense that achieving compliance for ongoing projects can present issues. However, new projects can be rolled out to comply with RERA without difficulty. We have not noticed any increased buyer interest in RERA certified projects as yet, but expect this to happen in future," says Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia.

On his part, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Founder and Chairman & Managing Director, Hiranandani Group, and President (National), National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), says, "Demonetisation slowed down Indian realty. It transformed potential buyers into fence sitters. RERA has brought transparency to real estate transactions, safety and security for home buyers and compelled developers to be held accountable for their commitments. It has improved buyers' confidence and gradually helped bring fence sitters back to sales offices. The year 2019 will see more buyers return to the market. Commercial real estate lessees and buyers will grow, with warehousing and logistics being a new area of interest." He adds, "We expect REITs to bring in more structured investments, even from small investors, while the Goods and Services Tax will ultimately ease the taxation aspect of buying property. We have lined up Hiranandani Sands, Alibaug, and industrial and logistics parks in Pune, Chennai and Nashik, besides which we have huge residential and commercial stocks."

"We expect Property Technology (PropTech) to emerge as a key trend in real estate as well as its ancillary industries in 2019. Digital and automation technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and virtual reality have simplified internal processes and helped provide world-class services to customers, especially home-buyers. Pre-cast and 3D modelling are helping to build sustainable structures to match the high expectations of home buyers. As more players adopt PropTech for their day-to-day business operations, business will be transformed," says Ashish R Puravankara, Managing Director, Puravankara. On RERA and REITs, he adds, "RERA has led to consolidation in Indian realty, thus creating a robust ecosystem system. While serious players have adapted to the regulatory framework, non-serious players have gradually exited the segment. Consequently, home buyers' sentiment has improved and latent demand has surged. REITs is currently in a nascent stage, but if this reform is implemented in both letter and spirit, the prospect of multiple ownership, transparency, greater credibility and higher returns promises to be a game-changer."

So, will 2019 be a bumper year for Indian realty? Dimple Bhardwaj, Head & Chief Executive, Marcom & Slum Redevelopment, Raheja Developers, shares, "With RERA and REITs, real estate in India has undoubtedly taken a turn for the better. Now, global investors can find incredible investment opportunities. Prominent projects, integrated cities and mega housing schemes will attract major investment from national and international investors. There is a distinct possibility that the year 2019 turns out to be a bumper year for Indian realty."


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