New Delhi: The real estate sector relief expected this week may include solutions for stalled housing projects for the stressed home buyers where projects could not be completed due to funding issues, official sources said.
There have been demands for stress funds to deal with stalled projects and bail out lakhs of stuck homebuyers from both home buyers and builders side. There will be solutions on those lines, sources said without divulging if it would be Rs 10,000 crore stress fund as sought.
Another official said stressed fund do exist in many countries but owned by private sector adding there are several ways to provide liquidity in the lendings to the sector which is not necessarily through only a stress fund.
Stress funds are a global phenomenon and are present in nearly every mature market. But many of them are private funds.
In August government announced more credit support to housing finance companies where it extended additional liquidity support to HFCs by the National Housing Bank, which has been increased from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore.
In her meeting with the sector representatives, Finance Minister Nirmala SItharaman had met with the two apex realtors’ industry bodies CREDAI and NAREDCO, and the second with homebuyer associations, to discuss the issues concerning the real estate sector and steps to be taken to strengthen the industry.
The government is also likely to make changes to the definition of affordable housing as sought by developers so that more projects can come under the category. Further, bank loans for developers, which have always been an issue as banks try to avoid lending to developers, may witness some favourable changes. Developers and distressed home buyers had suggested to the government that a fund be set up for completion of stalled projects.
Further, the real estate sector also received a shock after the National Housing Bank recently asked housing finance companies to stop funding under the subvention scheme. The government is likely to ease the recent direction in favour of developers.
Last month industry body NAREDCO had raised the need for a ‘stress fund’ before Sitharaman. If the government agrees to float such a fund, it could become the last-mile capital for large unfinished projects. Home buyers’ body — Forum For People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE) — also wanted Rs 10,000-crore ‘stress fund’ in budget to complete stalled projects. Their view is it is time now to end this problem by creating a ‘stress fund’ to the tune of at least Rs 10,000 crore to complete stuck real estate projects on pan India basis.
The real estate sector is facing multi-year slowdown in demand due to various reasons including tight liquidity situation, default by many builders and elevated level of prices.
The industry is expecting the government to address their concerns regarding liquidity crunch, demand slowdown and stalled projects. Industry bodies have said that the unrest in the sector is due to the of liquidity crunch and poor sales, and demanded that banks and NBFCs should be encouraged to fund projects. The industry fears bad situation during the coming festive season when generally demand is higher.
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