By Murari Chaturvedi
It is a fact that real estate prices, specifically in Mumbai, are stagnated this time. Once a vibrant market is now tanked to the lowest level despite huge demand in residential sector. The reason in the skyrocketing prices of residential properties which is clearly out of the reach of the common man and completely dried up rental accommodation market. Even the extensive advertisements campaigns of their residential projects, fails to revive the sales of flats in the market. Even the luxury segment is dormant now. Actual luxury segment is just around 5 to 7 percent of the market. The bigger segments is of middle class and lower middle class housing. The purchasing capacity of both these segments is the main reason. Higher middle class persons can afford to purchase flats costing them up to R. 50-60 lakhs while lower middle class persons can go up to Rs. 30-40 lakhs flats with housing finance facilities. Other centers in the country like Delhi, Ahmadabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, etc, are also reporting stagnation due to fewer sales in residential market. The nationwide slump in housing is mainly due to the abnormally high prices of housing units, slowing of economy and unreasonable taxes on housing construction sector. Then there is the growing trend amongst the builders to make 2BHK(Bedroom, Hall, Kitchen) or 3BHK flats only. This further escalates the price of housing units. Infact 1BHK flats should be constructed on mass scale to give push to the sale of flats as happened in Tokyo(Japan) and Singapore. Housing Boards, HUDCO and National Housing Bank, must construct on mass scale small flats of 300 t0 500 sq. ft. in present situation to cater to the growing needs of middle class population. The concept of hire purchase must be reintroduced in all metro cities where people can acquire small flats on installments. And the thing to do now is that the government must consider seriously to provide much needed relief to the building construction industry. Heavily taxed building materials will multiple taxation are chocking the industry along with municipal rules, must be rationalized to give relief to the middle class or the Aam Admi.