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Policy changes: reshaping the economy and real estate dynamics

The real estate sector holds a vital position in any nation’s economy, with its impact extending from creating employment opportunities to driving overall economic growth. However, this sector’s dynamics are intricately linked to various factors, especially policy and regulatory changes. Over the years, governments have initiated regulatory reforms aimed at enhancing transparency, protecting stakeholders, and promoting economic development within the real estate industry. Projections suggest that India is on track to become the world’s third-largest real estate market, reaching an impressive valuation of USD 1 trillion by 2030. This would constitute a substantial portion, approximately 18-20 percent, of India’s GDP.

The real estate sector has already established itself as a significant contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), underscoring its pivotal role in the nation’s economic landscape. Forecasts paint an optimistic picture, indicating that by 2025, this sector could contribute a substantial 10-13 percent of India’s GDP. Given its current growth trajectory, surpassing the remarkable milestone of a $1 trillion market value by 2030 seems plausible. These forecasts emphasize the indispensable role played by the real estate sector in strengthening the nation’s economic vitality.

Key Regulatory Changes:

  1. RERA (Real Estate Regulation and Development Act): One of the most significant recent regulatory changes has been the introduction of RERA, aimed at instilling transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the real estate sector. RERA mandates the registration of real estate projects and agents, ensuring compliance with project timelines, quality standards, and fair practices. Its implementation has boosted consumer confidence, leading to increased investments in the real estate sector.
  2. GST (Goods and Services Tax) Implementation: The implementation of GST has simplified the tax structure for the real estate sector by consolidating various indirect taxes. While it initially faced challenges, especially in the residential segment due to high GST rates, it has ultimately improved transparency and reduced tax evasion, positively impacting the economy. Developers now face a 15 percent service tax under the GST and RERA regime, but they have witnessed a reduction in multiple taxes and an improved overall scenario. For buyers, GST and RERA have enhanced transparency and streamlined real estate investments.
  3. Affordable Housing Incentives: To promote affordable housing, the government has introduced incentives such as tax benefits, interest subventions, and infrastructure status for this segment. These incentives have encouraged developers to focus on affordable housing projects, addressing the housing needs of the masses. The push for affordable housing has not only boosted the real estate sector but also positively impacted economic growth.
  4. Benami Transactions Act: The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act was enacted to curb black money and undisclosed properties. It prohibits benami transactions and empowers authorities to confiscate benami properties. This has encouraged transparency and discouraged illegal practices in real estate transactions, contributing to overall economic integrity.
  5. Digitization and E-Governance: The digitization of land records and the shift towards e-governance in various states have significantly reduced property disputes, fraud, and corruption. Digital platforms for property registrations and transactions have made processes more efficient and transparent. This has benefited both buyers and sellers while enhancing the real estate sector’s image, and attracting more investments.
  6. Environmental Regulations: Incorporating environmental regulations into real estate development has become standard practice. Green building certifications such as LEED and GRIHA are increasingly sought after. Stricter environmental norms are being imposed to ensure sustainable and eco-friendly construction practices. This has elevated the profile of the real estate sector, making it more attractive for domestic and foreign investments.
  7. FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) Liberalization: The liberalization of FDI norms in the real estate sector has encouraged foreign investors to invest in Indian real estate projects. This has infused capital into the sector, and introduced international best practices, and advanced technologies, thereby boosting overall industry growth. India’s real estate sector witnessed a substantial influx of foreign institutional investments, totaling $26.6 billion from 2017 to 2022, according to a report by Colliers, a real estate services firm.

In summary, regulatory changes in the real estate sector have significantly influenced its operations, introducing transparency, accountability, and efficiency. These changes have not only safeguarded the interests of consumers and stakeholders but have also contributed to overall economic growth. A well-regulated real estate sector ensures a level playing field for all stakeholders and makes a substantial contribution to a nation’s economic development. Therefore, it is essential for policymakers and industry players to collaborate in creating a conducive regulatory environment that fosters sustainable growth and prosperity.


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