Some good news in the offing for the lakhs of homebuyers who are stuck because their housing projects are delayed. NBCC and the central government's construction company is actively considering taking over incomplete housingprojects, completing them and handing them over to the buyers.
"Talks are going on that NBCC should either take over or monitor housing projects and we are open to the idea.We are discussing the issue in greater detail," Anoop Mittal, CMD, NBCC told NDTV.
There are at least 2.34 lakh housing units which are delayed by over two years in Delhi NCR and Mumbai, as per data from Liases Foras, a realty research company. According to a survey done by industry chamber Assocham, about 826 housing projects are delayed by over 3 years across the country.
NBCC's move comes close in the heels of Yamuna Expressway Authority CEO Arun Vir Singh also suggesting a similar move to resolve the problem of delayed projects in Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway areas.
"We are working out a mechanism, a formula wherein we might take over projects if we feel that the builder is unable to complete the projects. In that case, going forward the homebuyers will deposit the remaining amount with us and we will ensure that the projects are completed. Homebuyers' interest is supreme. We will ensure that the homebuyers get their homes," Singh said.
This is something that even homebuyers are rooting for.
"In our view the only solution is that government takes over the delayed projects. We are ready to pay to the Government", Col (Retd) J B Mongia said.
Col (Retd) Mongia booked a flat in 2009 in Unitech's Sunbreeze housing project, Sector 69, Gurgaon. Unitech promised delivery by 2012. Five years later, the project is far from complete.
While government entities and authorities are actively considering taking over of incomplete housing projects, something that even the Real Estate (Regulation) and Development Act has suggested, real estate industry players say it might not be an easy deal.
"This can be a solution but the problem that I see is that the new promoter will first have to get the consent of two-third of the original allottees, which even the Act says and second the new promoter will have to honour commitments made by the earlier promoter to his buyers. Most of the projects are delayed by over 3-4 years which means the promoter has to pay delay penalty to the buyers and this is defibitely going to be a big number. So I think someone will have to take a haricut. Either the buyer or maybe even the banks," Pankaj Bajaj, MD, Eldeco Infrastructure and Properties said.
According Prashant Solomon, MD, Chintels India, another possible solution could be using REITs to fund residential projects or maybe a National Housing Bank or HUDCO bailing out the builders who are facing financial stress.
Manoj Gaur, Vice President, CREDAI, the apex body of real estate players, said that mergers and acquisitions will become a common thing in the coming days. "Several of the smaller players with limited resources will be forced to sale their projects to other promoters. With RERA coming into play a lot of cleaning up is expected to happen. Many non-serious players will be forced to shut shop," Gaur said.