Realtors upset with the policies of Bhubaneswar Development Authority.

The real estate developers on Thursday reacted sharply to the Bhubaneswar Development Authority’s (BDA) move to change the definition of “apartment” and “group housing.”

Talking to reporters here, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) state president D S Tripathy said the new definitions are vague and will result in the harassment of people while constructing houses.

The draft BDA (planning and building standards) amendment regulations-2012 proposes to amend the definition of apartment as building constructed in one block having more than four dwelling units where land is owned jointly and construction is undertaken by one agency. Under the existing BDA regulations 2008, an apartment is defined as a building having six or more dwelling units.

Tripathy said under the new definition houses of joint families may become apartments. As a result, such families would have to meet the required road width of minimum nine metres, he said. Tripathy said certain apartments can never form societies for which at least seven members are required. Similarly, the new definition of ‘group housing,’ building with more than one dwelling unit, where land is owned jointly and the construction is undertaken jointly by one agency, is vague and don’t convey clarity.

CREDAI, which suggested its comment on the draft regulations, open for public suggestions, is of the view that creation of the new “settlement fund” and earmarking of 10% of all housing projects for economically weaker sections is not going to help the poor. “It seems impractical that BDA will construct EWS houses using shelter fund,” the CREDAI chief said.

The CREDAI, Odisha, suggested that the state government should formulate an affordable housing policy on the lines of Rajasthan, which looks more realistic, gives incentives to builders and subsidy to weaker sections.

Builders Losing on Projects Due to Falling ROI

Inflation and peaking cost of raw materials have started denting in the balance sheets of the real estate firms here. In spite of bleeding balance sheets and dipping return on investment, the firms here commit that they will give the housing units to the buyers at the booking price only. KC Naik, president, Mangalore chapter of the CREDAI, says there is a boom clause in the agreement with the buyer but he has not used it till now. His firm Mahabaleshwar Promoters and Builders is currently executing two projects of 260 housing units and will inaugurate another two projects soon. “We have been in operation since the past two decades and not even once we have used the boom clause in our favour,” he said.

His idea is to accelerate the completion period of the project when cost of raw materials start going up. All houses are not sold at one go. So the first buyer is the lucky one who will get it at the lowest rate. It goes by INR 100-200 per sq ft subsequently.

The ROI is dipping and builders are losing 10-15 pc on the projects. In the past six months, the prices of sand, cement, steel and flooring tiles have increased from 20 pc to 100 pc. Prices of rough sand, used for construction of slabs, is up from INR 8 per cubic feet to INR 16. Fine sand used for plastering has gone up from INR 9 to INR 18. Adding to the woes is the scarcity of fine sand. Likewise steel is up by INR 33 to INR 40 to INR 45 per kg and cement from INR 250 to INR 310 for a bag of 50 kg. Flooring tiles has also increased from INR 33 to INR 38.

Rent depends upon various factors

If we talk about rental system, it completely depends upon the age of building. The building of old age is not supposed to be as costly as the new building is. As we know that real estate do not comes into the category of depreciable asset, but still, the building with age factor more than twenty loses its rental market value. The fact behind it is the use of old fittings and loss of elegance with time. Most of the people prefer well maintained modern house for rental purpose.