Times of India: Affordable housing to emerge as new growth area for real estate

The affordable housing is all set to get boost after getting infrastructure status in urban areas and Gurugram, till now dominated by high end housing units, in particular. The developers and industry experts are betting big on the budget announcement and hoping that affordable housing will attract more investment leading to availability of more houses for middle income group.

Haryana government has come up Affordable Group Housing Policy in 2013 under which 300 acres of land was reserved for affordable housing in Gurgaon. Till now government has given 135 licenses for 162 acres of land on which 29,160 units of affordable housing are under construction in Gurgaon. “Till now only few were interested in this segment, now we are hoping to get more request for licenses under affordable housing,” said a senior government official. He said with the formation of GMDA in Gurgaon, Huda will also focus on affordable housing.

Developers are excited that government finally fulfilled the long-standing demand and gave affordable housing segment infrastructure status. “Now sector would be eligible for various incentives. Proposals like reduction of holding period for the purposes of long term capital gains tax from 3 years to 2 years, changing the base rate of indexation to April 2001, shall provide the necessary respite to the property owners and also making property an attractive investment option,” said Sanjay Malhotra, CEO, Emaar India.

Anil Bansal, Director- Urban Infrastructure, IPE Global said additional refinance of Rs 20,000 crore from National Housing Bank will boost the current housing supply and stock. “In addition to its promotion into Infrastructure sector, this in turn will lower housing interest rates resulting from increased liquidity in the banking sector. Developers will get preferential and lower borrowing rates from banks; long-term financing would reduce the cost of construction for developers allowing them to pass the benefits to end consumers. This in turn would allow better access to institutional financing, higher limit on external borrowings, attracting investments assuring sustained growth in affordable housing arena, making it the core driving factor for our country’s growth,” said Bansal.


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