New Delhi: The Indian housing market is distinguished as a market with high demand for affordable housing projects, a small housing rental market, and a plethora of overpriced and substandard projects. With a population of over 136 crores (as recorded in 2019), there’s a steady demand of over 50 lakhs affordable homes every year, and yet the supply is not even 500,000. Providing adequate and affordable housing is an ever-growing challenge, real estate costs are far too high because of artificially inflated land prices.
Two-thirds of homeowners have just one or two rooms and yet it costs them many years of their salary. The demand for housing will be on a steady rise as the population continues to increase and the migration from rural to urban areas accelerates with time. The government estimates that around 88 crore people will be living in urban areas of India by 2051, compared to the current 46 crores. This steady increase in the urban population will create considerable demand for residential real estate development.
Quality and affordable housing are more required now than ever as houses are doubling up as workplaces, schools, gyms, and is the only place to spend time while doing all of the above activities especially after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world.
People spend most of their time at their homes and it is no longer just a place with a roof where people would go to spend their nights. Improper housing conditions like overcrowding are associated with the spread of COVID-19 and other health issues, as people have to spend more time in homes that are overcrowded, damp, unsafe, or without basic amenities. Living in such spaces takes a heavy toll on one’s mental health as well, reports suggest that it reduces their functioning capacity and efficiency, and causes problems like depression and anxiety. Women and children are more likely to suffer from these problems than men according to the research.
The government of India and various state governments have been making reforms to make housing affordable to the larger middle-class families in India. Some of these policies include Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-U), an initiative of the Government of India being implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), introduced on 25th June 2015. The plan aims to address housing shortages in the urban areas, among the EWS/LIG and MIG categories by the year 2022.
While the state governments like Andhra Pradesh have come up with plans like the VMRDA Masterplan 2041 which is expected to develop layouts to offer housing plots for middle-class families in urban areas. It is expected to promote the planned and integrated development of various towns. This plan allocated a whooping Rs 1.40 lakh crore in the budget to provide quality infrastructure for its execution.
If there is one sector that has billowed by the Covid 19 pandemic it would be residential housing. The first wave of covid in India witnessed a severe blow to the rental market as people were vacating their rented apartments in urban cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and other IT hubs in India and moving back to their native places when work from home was introduced, even the sales were affected severely, while after the second wave, people are seen returning to the urban cities, the rental market is peaking with very high demand, even the sales market is picking up pace again, Southern parts of India is leading this revival of Indian real estate market in 2021 especially cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Telangana, and Chennai.
In a survey by magicbricks, it was also revealed that the repeat buyers are back in the market, and people are selling smaller homes while consecutively buying bigger homes, the main influence of this behavior being low-interest rates on home loans and a surge in demand for spacious, peaceful and comfortable homes for the new normal of work and study-from-home among buyers.
Given the high demand for quality and affordable housing in India, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the introduction of Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna, initiatives taken by various state governments like Andhra Pradesh, and low interest rates on housing loans, one would easily assume that there might be a good number of entrepreneurs and developers chasing each other to grab this golden opportunity and make quality housing affordable to a majority of the MIG category, but unfortunately, this is not the case.
Due to lack of ambition, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit, developers mostly focus on making the most money and cutting the costs by any means, when it comes to residential projects, due to which the projects developed by them are substandard and yet cost a fortune to the customers.
The solution to this is very simple and the issue can be resolved through the use of the latest technology, innovation, a multidisciplinary team, better planning and execution, and not by not cutting costs at the expense of quality materials for construction which is usually the case.
A good construction plan and specifications can reduce the construction time by proper execution at the site without delay, and reduces the expenses drastically on labor and time wastage, which is usually the choice of a smart developer, while a poorly drawn plan not only confuses, but places doubt in the contractor’s mind, which generally results in a higher construction cost which is usually the case in most of the projects we see in India. All these small factors play a very major role in keeping the costs and quality of residential projects in check!
About Author: Dr. B. Lakshmi Narayana is a noted philanthropist, successful industrialist, and M.D. of Sahiti Infratec Ventures India Pvt Ltd, based out of Hyderabad. He is well respected in the construction industry, demonstrated by his strong relationship with architects and with his satisfied clients. Having begun his role as an individual builder in the year 2000, he is backed by over two decades of experience in the construction industry. He brings a wealth of knowledge & professionalism to any project he is involved in.
(Disclaimer: Views expressed only of the author not necessarily of India.Com)
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