What Government Should Do to Attract Buyer’s Sentiments?

Consumers are searching and active but the housing sentiment indices constructed have been at rock bottom in this quarter for the FY 2014-15.

Consumers are hanging on for clear indications that the market is ready to be entered into. Even though there has been a lot of noise in the markets, none of them have come through to the surface. Here is a list of 5 points which would help to revive the sluggish property market.

1. Realty developers have not ceased to build in the past couple of years. However, if most of these properties are disputed in terms of delivery dates, specifications, prices, sizes, escalation and add on demands, there is no clear mean that the problem shall be resolved for consumers. Taking on the battalion sized legal departments of real estate conglomerates is quite daunting for consumers which is why consumer sentiments are on the lower side too. Quicker implementation of real estate regulator which has under purview city departments which grant approvals to newer developers, consumers and projects shall be steps forward.

2. Consumers today await a drop in interest rates for home loans to drop before they enter the market for a purchase. It was observed in the past that when rates are increased, older consumers have to pay more money keeping in line with floating interest rates. However, special rates and rate cuts are often reserved for new consumers of home loan. Any assurance to consumers that irrespective of when they take home loans, the slashes in rates shall be passed on fairly to them and not just new consumers shall instil confidence in borrowers.

3. Larger numbers of people have multiple houses and even if they lease out their spare properties, they do it with much hesitation as rental laws are biased heavily towards tenants. However, when it comes to defaults landlords have to approach long drawn legal systems. Simpler rental laws shall bring more confidence among landlords and help them unlock unoccupied urban houses.

4. Policies for real estate must be less self-centres. When coffers run low, city administrations increase registration values and property taxes. However, it has been seen that amounts collected increase when rates of taxes are lower and consumers pay taxes voluntarily. Government policies must favour realty consumers for bringing back confidence. The launching of affordable housing policies as well as affordable properties in Gurgaon, Haryana pushed up launches in the segment.

5. Governments must address social housing for ensuring that everyone has house that can be lived in. It would be the perfect test for the concept of smart cities in the country.