Every industry has its share of bad apples and that does not mean that the entire industry is tainted, Anuj Puri, Chairman of real estate consultant Anarock, told IANS on being queried how is it that the sector's performance has remained healthy, even as several major builders are entangled in issues ranging from financial troubles, corporate governance to bankruptcies.
Recently on March 25, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) declared Noida-headquartered realty major Supertech Ltd as insolvent while admitting a plea filed by the Union Bank of India (UBI) over non-payment of its dues.
"The cases being referred to are from times before the implementation of regulations such as RERA," Puri said.
Currently, a tight belt of regulations governs the sector and the courts are very active in bringing the previously erring developers to justice, he said.
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"For that reason, it continues to see healthy domestic and international investments, which will increase in the coming years on the back of the tightened regulatory environment and strongly resurging consumer sentiments," Puri ssaid.
However, when asked what shall be done to safeguard the best interest of the homebuyers, that too in a time-bound manner, in case of the builders going bankrupt, he said: "There is indeed a long-drawn process ahead for such homebuyers, who have no option but to wait until the due course of the law reaches a resolution."
"I'm afraid that the outlook is not very rosy as of now - usually, such proceedings take a long time to get fully resolved," he said.
However, the only silver lining is that the apex court had stated earlier that the homeowners are part of the "body of creditors" in such insolvency proceedings.
On fresh trends in commercial realty space in particular at a time when the country is coming out from two long years of Covid, he said the pandemic did disrupt the accustomed dynamics in the commercial real estate market.
For over a year during the worst parts of the pandemic, there was a big question mark hanging over the sector, with occupiers seeking to renegotiate leases because of low employee footfalls and government restrictions related to employee saturation.
"This phase is now behind us, and the commercial market is regaining its previous strength. While some firms, primarily in the IT sector, have adopted a hybrid work model, most of India Inc is headed back to offices," Puri said.
When queried whether the recent uptick in volumes was led by pent-up demand, or was it real demand-driven sales, Puri said: "Definitely both, but not in equal proportion. Pent-up demand has largely been met in the first few months of resurgent sales after the lockdowns concluded, though we are still seeing many fence-sitters coming back to the market."