residential flats

Why is RERA important

In India, owning a home is a dream most people savour through their life. There is only a small percentage of people who get to own their home. Most of us save our lifetime income for buying a home of our dreams. But before buying property lots of questions arise in buyer’s mind. Are we investing in the right location? Will the builder deliver what is promised? Is this builder an honest builder? What clauses should be there in a house buying agreement? To solve this problem the government has introduced RERA for home buyers. Let’s understand in detail as to what is RERA and what does it entail.

Before this regulatory act, some unscrupulous builders and developers of India had their own rules and regulations. The buyers were given almost no choice by such developers. While the buyer was paying for the property and this would be the biggest asset most of them ever invested in their lifetime, a lot of builders avoided sharing the important details with the customer. That is why Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) was introduced, to protect buyers’ rights on one side and builders’ payments on the other.

What is RERA

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) is an act introduced by the Indian government in 2016. The main objective of this Act is to protect property buyers’ right and help them reach out to a regulatory body in case of any issue with the builder. The act also ensures that property buyers understand their responsibilities of payments and they protect a developer’s rights to ensure there are minimal disputes.

RERA has put forward clear guidelines regarding constructing and developing the real estate. This has brought a lot of transparency between buyers and developers and established a way forward in case of a dispute. As there are uniform rules created, it becomes easy for a buyer to compare different projects and understand detailed cost structure without the bomb of hidden charges exploding on him later on.

Importance of RERA

Indian real estate needed a regulation like RERA to add confidence in India’s Real estate sector. RE is a leading part of the economy and contributes to almost 15% of GDP. The act ever since initiated, has resulted in several changes in construction sector by bringing in transparency at every step and forcing all parties to fulfil their duties.

The act has brought clarity between property buyers and property developers thereby building the necessary trust between sellers and buyers. It has established state authorities in every state and has tried to do away with anomalies or malpractices in the sector.

Now RERA is helping home buyers in timely delivery of their real estate project. That is a great relief for homebuyers across India. It also is a great news for developers like Paarth Infrabuild, who have always kept the interests of customers at the center.

RERA has become a rule playbook for both seller and buyer of real estate that include the intermediaries also. The few provisions of act have made the following beneficial changes to RE selling:

  1. Uniform size definition

There is no denying the importance of the size of a unit when buying a property. Before RERA, every builder had his own way of defining unit size and was difficult for a buyer to understand the implication of various components shown for a unit size. However, with RERA, a standardised way of defining unit size has been propounded making the process transparent and trustworthy.

2. Penal interest rates

In RERA regime, in case of default in payment by the buyer or default in completion of the project by the builder, the rate of interest to be paid shall be the same for both parties.

Earlier it was very different. In case the builder used to delay the possession of property – the interest paid by builder to the home buyer was less whereas in case the buyer defaulted – the interest to be paid by the buyer to builder was much higher.

The RERA Act has now clearly specified that the interest rate shall be the same for both the parties, making the process fair.

3. Fiscal discipline for builder

A developer usually has several projects which are being constructed simultaneously. Earlier there was no restriction on builder to use funds from a project in the same project. All that has undergone a change now. This would now not be possible as after the introduction of RERA, the builder is liable to deposit 70% of the revenue collected for a particular project in an escrow account. He can withdraw from such account only on the basis of completion of project, which shall be certified by a civil engineer, architect and a chartered accountant in practice.

As the funds can now not be diverted to other projects and used for other purposes – this will ensure that the funds are used for the purpose only for which they are raised.

Pre-RERA, there have been certain cases wherein some rogue builders raised the funds from home buyers for constructing their homes but used the funds for buying land for the next project leaving this project in limbo. They later became starved of funds and were not able to complete the construction of the property.

As the funds can only be used for the purpose for which they have been raised – this will ensure that the funds are not diverted elsewhere and that the money is used for the purpose for which it is raised, thereby ensuring timely completion of the property.

4. Right to information

This has been another big change in RE sector. Retail customer often was not provided all the information and he had no way to force the builder to share the requisite information. However, RERA has clearly stated various information which should be provided in writing to buyer in the agreement as well as in the advertisement.

5. Grievance redressal

Grievance redressal was another area where buyer used to run from pillar to post to get himself heard without a positive outcome. Now RERA has ensured the establishment of an authority for grievance redressal in every state making life easier for a customer.

The biggest advantage of RERA lies in discipling a few errant builders and thereby making a level playing field for all developers. Institutional developers like Paarth Infrabuild, who has all its projects approved by RERA, and who have always been transparent to customers are major beneficiary of this act along with the end customer.

Living experience in an independent floor

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions a family makes together. This also has far reaching social and economic impact on family members. The locality, the neighbors, infrastructure and what kind of home one buys, go on to define the kind of life one would live.

Living experience in an independent floor

There are many choices for a buyer. One can buy an apartment in a condominium or buy a villa on an independent plot of land. For some, Skyscrapers make their inhabitants proud and inspire awe in them. But some just don’t like living in tall buildings with shared spaces. A few others want to live in an Independent villa, but can’t afford it. The high prices of land have made villas virtually out of reach of an average Indian. The independent floors give a certain middle course that is affordable and meets aspirations of a style-living oriented middle class family.

An independent-floor apartment is a residential unit with a few other flats in a low-rise independent building. The number of units on each floor is one or two and therefore don’t have to share the common space with many families. These buildings are generally mid – height, offering the much needed visual relief, ensuring these are not claustrophobic. These are also designed with ample space between different blocks to afford a healthy flow of air and ingress of sunlight. These have become important criteria for customers in post-pandemic world.

Buying an independent floor is clearly a lifestyle decision. This is so because, an apartment of the same size in a high-rise will be available at 15-20% less cost. For a lot of people who go by utility of their purchase decision, this premium over a similar sized apartment doesn’t make any sense, but for few, it is the best decision they made. Also the flexibility of space utilisation in independent floor is more as there are very limited common areas. This also allows a buyer to give the space outside one’s home a character that he wants.

However, builder floors have some drawbacks, if they are offered on a standalone basis. Such independent floors do not have facilities such as gymnasium, swimming pool, security and power back-up, that all of the modern society apartments have. But if there are independent floors on offer within a township, this is like one gets best of both worlds. An independent floor with the sense of safety and security and the amenities offered by a large well planned township is unparalleled in its value offer to the buyer.

Independent floors offer a sense of space which can’t be compared with an apartment. The privacy that this offers, also attracts buyers. The discerning customers also like the opportunity to create the greens around their home and less cacophonous surroundings. Another strong value that an independent floor in a township offers is the “step in – step out” convenience. What it means is that you could enjoy social life just by stepping out of your home and be absolutely private the moment you step back inside.

Gardenia Residency in Paarth Republic Township on Lucknow- Kanpur road, is attracting buyers with this unmatched combination and is one of the fastest moving homes in Lucknow.

Future of work and home spaces

We are on a long road to recovery from the initial disruption created by the pandemic. It, however, is sure that not everything will go back to how it was pre-Covid. Somethings would have, perhaps, changed their character forever.

Future of work and home spaces
Future of work and home spaces

The lockdown brought a huge change to the workplace. Work from home (WFH) became the norm rather than exception. As per estimates from industry experts more than 90% of 4.3 million IT workforce worked from home during lockdown. And it seemed to have worked well, contrary to the early skepticism. The best part is that both the employee and the employer seem to be happier with this arrangement. While increased productivity warmed the hearts of employers, employees enjoyed flexible working hours and savings in commute time.

Learning from IT industry’s early moves, other industries also started to figure out ways of getting a portion of workforce WFH without disrupting the work ethics. Employers also saw it as an opportunity to reduce infrastructure and administrative costs. Conferences and meetings went online, helping save critical and expensive commute and helping organisations take swift decisions. Also, employees could be close to families during these uncertain times, especially when kids were home due to school closure. And there has been a vast acceptance of these methods. Even the courts in the country, started using video conferencing as a viable medium to do hearing. 

WFH also helped companies to tap into a pool of talent, which was not available earlier. There were instances when employees were not willing to move places, resulting in shortage of talent of a particular type. But with WFH becoming a norm, this has no more remained a challenge. Also, people who left their homes, leaving ageing parents behind, for a better life, could now shift back and be next to their parents without affecting the work. This means very special for women, who had to sacrifice their careers for commitments at home, suddenly finding new opportunities.

Another defining aspect of the pandemic induced work innovations has been a realization by employers in industries other than IT, that remote work for a large proportion of people in every industry is possible. As organizations tried it under compulsion and found it working, it is expected to become a regular feature going forward. This should result in continuation of these measures as it works well for both the employees and employers. There was an announcement by Deutsche bank with a plan to have almost 40% of its workforce working from home permanently.

However, there has been a flip side to WFH also. It is yet to be ascertained as to the impact it will have on employee morale and loyalty over a longer period of time. The lack of physical contact will affect the ability to group work, ideate and solve complex challenges. This feeling of isolation could also affect the mental well-being and may play havoc with self-confidence of sensitive employees. As non-verbal part of the communication is not possible, the exchange in certain situation could turn unhealthy. We can already hear employees complaining about unstructured and long hours of work affecting their life in multiple ways.

The problem, in fact, extends beyond the mental well-being. The bedrooms and living rooms are being converted to make-shift offices, which is an interference of work life into personal space. Most of the houses in India are cramped and don’t have appropriate office furniture, which may lead to health issues. As personal life is intruded into, a lot of employees and their families may find this experience awful. The ambient noise, at times, create embarrassing situations for individuals and trying to hide from it could result in employees not being at their normal self. Also, a large set of people have an extremely casual approach to work, when in a relaxed setting, which may be off-putting for colleagues in the work group. 

What then is the future of WFH in India? Basis the cost reduction it offers to employers, there will be an increased traction to continue and enhance Work from home. A large proportion of employees on other hand are already feeling weariness of this change and may like to resume the normal office functioning at the earliest possible opportunity. Multitude of work in offices, including the IT corporations, require more than one teams and employees to work together on a problem. Their synchronization has been critical for organizational success. Keeping this and other factors in mind, most of the organizations may be forced to resume operations like pre-covid times, once the scare is over. However, a good solution can be blended office – working from home on specific days and working at office on other days. This could be a winning solution if proper planning with thorough understanding of each role.

This new way of thinking will also result in paradigm shift in other industries. Real Estate industry is the one that is expected to feel this change the most. The market for office sales and rentals may face upheaval in short term. On the other hand, residential developments in emerging and new locations may see an uptick in demand. Challenges of working and managing office work from cramped spaces will force people out of their homes in busy localities to look for new and larger homes increasing the transactions. The noisy buildings located next to a street as standalone building, will lose charm and large complexes away from main road offering less noisy surroundings will gain prominence. It will not be a surprise to see larger homes or apartments with an extra room getting into favor, when compared with smaller homes. The locations with good IT infrastructure will also find more buyers. Also, with travel and other expenses down, the ability of an employee to pay the EMI amount would increase substantially, giving him the confidence to invest in a bigger apartment.

As the impact of WFH becomes clearer, we will know the way it impacts various industries. One thing, however, is sure, that the housing real estate industry is sure to see its best days. The focus will also shift from purely affordable housing to apartment complexes located away from hustle bustle of busy market areas. The large township projects will be in vogue and certainly score over small city centric developments.

Lucknow housing market – Opportunity for investors and end-users

Lucknow is capital city of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of India. Lucknow is always known as the cultural hub of north India and is also fast emerging as the biggest commercial hub of North India outside of Delhi NCR region. The infrastructural facilities in the city rival the best in the country in all aspects. It is the safest town in Uttar Pradesh with state-of-the-art policing protecting its residents. The medical facilities available in the City both in public as well as in private sector promise to protect people of the city from any eventuality. Lucknow city weaves a magic encapsulating traditional ambience with Rapid and ambitious futuristic growth. This unique blend of culture with social infrastructure defines the charm of the city and entices large swathes of population to make it their home every year.

Lucknow housing market – Opportunity for investors and end-users

While Lucknow has always been known for its culture, it has witnessed some of the best developments in last one decade. The ubiquitous metro rail covering the serpentine lanes below has a place of pride and convenience. The expanded airport connecting its citizenry to destinations across the world has opened the gateway to commercial centers of the world, while the newly constructed expressway connects this airpot to the pockets of commercial excellence within the city. The modern highway to Agra, connecting further to Delhi gives wings to the ambitions of ever-so-eager entrepreneurs from the city. The health infrastructure here stands shoulder to shoulder with any city in the world, what with Sanjay gandhi post graduate institute leading the medical facilities in this part of the world. The private investment has reposed its faith in these initiatives and contributed to creation of job opportunities in different sphere. The swanky complexes of IT companies stand a testimony to these efforts. While Lucknow has never been a manufacturing hub with that title belonging to its twin city Kanpur, the new age industries are finding an elevation to their pitch here.
Lucknow of yore was dotted with flea markets, but the new buzzing Lucknow challenges the hegemony of traditional retail centers with the giant shopping complexes that balance the nawabi charm and the poetic humdrum with the hustle and bustle of modern busy life, ever so delicately. The Atal bihari Vajpayee international cricket stadium has added to the charm and utility, occasionally acting as a magnet to the city. Quality education is another pillar that has supported the residents of this boom-town in achieving their dreams. From foundation schools to a world class university bringing out the best in its students, the city embraces students from all nationalities and faith and gives them the values that highlight their achievements years later.

The thriving economy and an ambitious middle class population has resulted in this city growing. No wonder then, that it has reported to have one of the highest growth in disposable income in the country in a decade. Exposure to modern life style and a high disposable income has upped the propensity to invest for a better way of life. Residents of adjoining towns and cities and also from rest of Uttar Pradesh always invested in Lucknow city. The state being an agrarian rich region, has seen the incomes going up in small towns and cities, resulting in citizens looking for better life-style and therefore heading to Lucknow. A home in Lucknow is a matter of pride for anybody living in any part of of eastern Uttar Pradesh. It has become more so in recent times as both the business as per the job opportunities give fast in this city. Earlier Kanpur used to be the business hub with Lucknow the Cultural Centre, but now Lucknow holds both these titles.

Lucknow has also seen significant political stability for almost A decade now. It has helped the infrastructure projects to complete in time and the town to grow in a planned manner. Private developers of national and international repute have also launched various residential and commercial projects in the city with world class amenities and architecture. This has also enticed old residents of the city living in crowded and less developed localities to buy a home and live in modern housing societies. Therefore, while most of the urban centers in India have struggled to maintain the speed of sales of houses and the prices, Lucknow real estate market has seen a consistent growth, both in terms of price appreciation and number of units sold. Localities like Gomti Nagar and Kanpur Road have seen significant traction from buyers. A lot of these projects which were launched a few years back have been completed and residents have shifted in. This has further boosted the confidence of end-users to invest in new properties. This, in turn, has offered incremental returns on investments for investors and therefore they keep flocking to various projects.

Other factors which have influenced this trend are – availability of land within a reasonable distance from City Centre, relatively low cost of construction and availability of comparatively cheap labour. This has enabled the developers to offer excellent propositions to buyers within their budget. Buying a property in Delhi NCR have continued to be unaffordable for a middle class buyer and the same customer finds excellent choices at affordable price points of between 40 and 70 lacs here. Lucknow city has seen multiple large investments in the real estate housing sector and it is expected to continue to see the same going forward as people across the cities restart their life after the pause due to covid-19.

Lucknow housing market is expected to see hectic activity, as people are looking to stay near the places where educational and medical facilities offered meet the word standard. The availability of ever increasing employment opportunities makes Lucknow even more attractive. The administrative reforms initiated by the present government in last two years have started yielding results making the Civic infrastructure in Lucknow reach newly developing localities. Lucknow reality market is slowly turning into the proverbial gold pot for the investors and the best place to live in for the end user.

Vertical expansion – Answer to urban land scarcity

India is witnessing an unprecedented growth in urbanization. Better health care facilities and educational and job opportunities are driving people from rural areas to urban centers and resulting in huge population growth. This brings the challenges of land planning and environmental control to town planners. Expanding cities horizontally to make room for all these people will end up destroying more natural resources and therefore vertical growth of cities is being considered as a viable option. Building upward instead of outward enables us to host large number of people in a small area, conserving land and natural resources. The remaining and available land, therefore, could be used to create civic infrastructure for the population living in the locality.

Vertical expansion – Answer to urban land scarcity

The advent of high-rise buildings have also coincided with provision of world class amenities in housing projects. A vertical growth also offers people living on higher floors a panoramic view of the city around and makes life beautiful. A high floor living also avoids noise pollution and other challenges which affect quality of life in low rise developments. Various amenities including car parking etc can be managed in the basement and lower floors to ensure a smooth passageway to walkers. With fast lifts fitted in these buildings there is no challenge in moving between floors. In fact, all the premium buildings in mega cities like Mumbai and Delhi NCR are vertical developments.

Vertical buildings could also offer other environmental benefits. Having numerous services and amenities in the same tower would reduce the need for moving around. This can also save fuel and energy.

These buildings also create social connectivity by making it easier for individuals to socialize in common areas and visit friends. More like minded people in one place also offers opportunities to create micro-communities based on interest in these housing societies, reducing the need to go out and socialize. As more families live in a small foot-print, it is easy to develop social and civic infrastructure in that area as the users are already there.

Earlier people were concerned about multiple inconveniences related to high-rise living. However, with advent of better technology in almost every aspect, these are no more the real challenges. The modern building design and construction technologies ensure that we can keep building higher without worrying about structural safety. In fact, these building designs are more resilient than the traditional low floor construction. Most Indian cities have now 24*7 power supply, resulting in no downtime for various equipments including elevators in these buildings. The building safety norms are in place and following these is mandatory, making these buildings safer. Also, a behavioural factor weighs in, as high rise developments are done only by large developers with help from reputed construction companies, they offer better construction quality than the houses built by part time developers.

Vertical expansion of cities, without a doubt is viable solution to urban land scarcity. For the people who live there, also taste the luxuries of life which are not easily available in low height developments. It is not uncommon to see a prestige associated with this living.