The COVID pandemic has impacted the housing sector adversely. There is a need to take effective measures to get the industry to recover from the COVID crisis. The RERA Act of 2016 was one such move by the Centre that aims to improve transparency and efficiency in the sector. To address these, Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. organised National Housing Summit n August 26, 2020.
PH Kurian, Chairman, K-RERA, Kerala, commenced his address saying that the Kerala RERA is among the youngest RERA sects as it started on January 1 of 2020 and COVID has been a major hurdle in the very inception year of Kerala RERA. “Also, we have only 30 projects since the date of inception”, he added.
Supporting the deliberations from previous speakers, he said, “I would agree that the RERA system is bringing transparency and efficiency in the real estate sector. It has also professionalised the operations of the sector and also the real estate agents.” He backed the address by Anthony De Sa saying that indeed the RERA Act is pro-project, however, “I differ a little in my opinion as the act is slightly indented towards the consumers.”
Citing his experience of the initial two-three months in Kerala RERA he said, “Consumers who face issues are coming to us for the redressal. In the initial two-three months, we have filed around 200 cases in this regard, however, not even a single developer came to us with any kind of issues.” However, it definitely has imbibed professionalism in the sector and gradually it will improve the efficiency as well, he added.
Addressing the summit on COVID situation in Kerala, he said, “Kerala was badly hit by the pandemic just like the other states. But Kerala has a speciality of a large number of NRKs, poor consumers in the real estate sector. With this cancellation rates have gone high. Also, payments by the NRK consumers were also affected. Many of them returned from the middle east countries owing to layoffs and were unable to pay the instalments.” This was a serious crisis for Kerala’s real estate sector. Many NRKs have lost their jobs which resulted in developers having stocks available with them with no takers, he pointed out.
While mentioning about the relaxations and benefits being provided by the authority in Kerala, Kurian said, “Similar to other states, we have also given a six-month extension to developers for completion of their pending projects.”
Concluding his address, Kurian spoke on thins getting back to normal and the recovery of the real estate industry from the COVID crisis. He said, “I agree with the other panellists that there are initial challenges that we have to face but eventually the things will get back to normal. Following the normalcy, the real estate sector will witness growth and development.”