The affordable homes market in India has gained prominence due to its allegiance to “Housing for All” mission of Government of India.
The Government wants to provide a roof to each family and is framing various guidelines, regulations and subsidies to promote affordable homes in India. Various state governments have already acted upon it and Haryana is leading the pack.
In Haryana, The government announced Affordable Housing Policy in 2013 and granted licenses to various developers to launch their projects under certain parameters. It has almost been 15 months when the first project under affordable homes was launched in Gurgaon.
Let us throw light on how it is evolved as a product, how the market responded and customer’s outlook.
Excitement – There was tremendous excitement in the market as the offering was new & unimaginable. People just could not believe that Super Expensive Gurgaon Realty is now within the reach of their pocket. As Gurgaon is driven by Service industry, there was a huge gap in supply which was completely taken care by this policy. Almost a year later, now the customer are less excited, they have thoroughly understood the policy and somehow feel that the product could offer better dimensions and certain utilities, it would have been killer.
Ambiguous – The customers were hardly aware of policy or guidelines governing affordable homes, they were simply attracted by the price point. There are certain rules which do not have clarity, majorly around lapse of duties on the part of the developer. The government will make adequate changes in the policy soon on feedback by the people.
Confusion – Initially, only one project was launched but later as months progressed, the launches also increased. Almost for a quarter, there were 3-4 projects available for booking. This led to confusion among the customers as all projects are designed on same lines, have similar prices, the only major differentiating factor was the location. Eventually, customer opted for their choice of a project after much deliberation.
Misguidance – When there is confusion, misguidance is paramount. As the market and policy were new, there was no centralised information center and fly by night agents took advantage of the distressed customers and took them for a ride. The customers were fed unwarranted and illogical myths regarding the policy and projects only to hoodwink and cheat them. But now, the customers are information savvy and are more updated on all matters.
Lack of Trust – Anything without background breeds lack trust, be it a human, relation or a product. The newest realty product had its share of lack of trust among consumers. No one ever thought of the existence of such product in today’s times. Initial inhibitions were shed, developers gained trust by strictly adhering to the policy and carrying out its operations timely as mentioned in the policy.
First time Builders – A legend speaks for its legacy, but none of the legendary realty brands like DLF, Emaar MGF, Unitech ventured into affordable homes. It did create flutters in the market about deliverability and viability of such projects. But the government granted licences after through evaluation. All first-time developers like SIGNATURE GLOBAL, PYRAMID, PIVOTAL are performing better than established peers and have gained immense trust and faith of their customers. SUPERTECH, RAHEJA, ADANI, SUNCITY are big brands which have ventured into affordable realty space, therefore instilling faith in the segment.
Consultants – The position of associates and consultants in realty market is very valuable and is the important link in the entire realty ecosystem. When affordable homes projects were launched initially, they were not well accepted by the community as the expectations of both sides were mismatching. Almost a year later, the entire community is striving hard to make such projects a grand success and they foresee it as a game changer and future lies in affordability.
Projects – Almost for initial two-quarters, there were hardly few projects in the market and customers were eagerly waiting for launches at better locations. In Q4 of 2014-15, a bevy of projects were launched in the market and prospective customers had a great variety of affordable homes on offer. In many instances, customers opted for multiple properties to lap the chance of getting a allotted flat.
Construction – Each and every single customer had only one major question to ask – About the quality of construction. People would often mistake it as DDA flats which were shoddy and cramped with leakages and dumps. If one breaks down the cost of the apartment to various factors, it will be surprising to observe that the developers have a good margin to offer the best quality construction. Various innovative and advanced technologies are being used for speedier and quality construction.
Draw – Allotment of such apartments through draw was raising eyebrows as people simply do not trust the method. But, when the first draw was held, all apprehensions disappeared in thin air. The draws are held in most transparent and eloquent manner in the presence of entire customers and authorities. And major allotment through a draw in most of the projects have been completed.
With a flow of many new projects, affordable homes is picking up the speed which was expected with the help of the Policy.