Interest of homebuyers gets priority over banks

Putting the interest of homebuyers above that of banks when a real estate company defaults in repaying bank loans and handing over possession, the Supreme Court held that in case of conflict between the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act and recovery proceedings under Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, the former will prevail.

The ruling will provide relief to millions of homebuyers awaiting delivery. The government had amended the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code making homebuyers part of the committee of creditors deciding the fate of the company but they had not been given precedence in payment of dues in case of liquidation .

Housing ministry gives nod for construction of 60,000 houses under PMAY

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has approved the construction of over 60,000 houses in five states under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), a statement said on Tuesday. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) chaired by Secretary Manoj Joshi.

Proposals were approved for construction of more than 60,000 houses in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan, the statement stated. "The total number of sanctioned houses under the PMAY(U) is now 114.04 lakh; of which around 93.25 lakh have been grounded for construction and around 54.78 lakh have been completed and delivered to the beneficiaries," the ministry said.

UAE Property Prices to Continue Rising in 2022

Residential property prices growth in the UAE will continue in 2022, but at a slower pace despite a strong supply of new units is expected to come online in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. UAE will continue to see new project launches (in Dubai) from master and third party developers with construction-linked and post-completion payment plans.

The property market began the year on a very high note as Dubai recorded 5,797 sales transactions worth Dh16.69 billion last month. It was the best January ever on record. In January 2022, more than half - 53 per cent - of all transactions were for secondary/ready properties and 47 per cent were for off-plan properties. The off-plan market transacted 2,706 properties worth a total of Dh5.32 billion while the ready market transacted 3,091 transactions worth Dh11.37 billion. Comparing it to January last year, the rebound seen in the off-plan market in January 2022 has been significant as off-plan sales transaction value increased by 307.88 per cent and volume increased by 183.05 per cent year-on-year.

MahaRERA Website Set To Display Complaints

Homebuyers can check details of complaints regarding projects and promoters on the MahaRERA's website. Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) authorities said the arrangement would help the homebuyers take an informed decision before investing in any project.

An official said all the 16,000 complaints, related to the projects and the promoters, received by MahaRERA would be on display on the website. The official said the project-wise information on the regulator's website would allow the consumers to know the total number and status of complaints, if any, filed related to projects, number of non-compliance applications and other details. At the same time, the information on the promoters would also be beneficial for the consumers. MahaRERA chairperson Ajoy Mehta told TOI that there was an increasing demand from the homebuyers regarding these details, which they said would help them take an informed decision about a particular project. "In the coming week, these details will be available in a separate category," he said. MahaRERA secretary Vasant Prabhu said, "The details will be available project- and promoter-wise in the coming week and will be available on the main page of the website." Currently, information relating to the complaints are available only with the complainants and the respondent promoters. Only the final orders are available in public domain. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which came into force with effect from May 1, 2017, seeks to ensure that transactions between the promoters and homebuyers are governed by the norms of efficiency, transparency and accountability. Ramesh Prabhu, chairman of the Maharashtra Society Welfare Association, told TOI that the new move was a step towards bringing about more transparency. "A consumer needs to have all the information about a project. The homebuyers can now know about the projects and the promoters." State Credai (Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India) president Sunil Furde said that the arrangement would definitely benefit the homebuyers, as all necessary details would be made available to them.

SWAMIH Gives Final Approval to 105 Proposals

SWAMIH Investment Fund, the stress fund for realty sector, has given approvals to about 105 deals, which will help in the completion of 61,000 homes. Irfan A Kazi, Chief Investment Officer, SWAMIH Investment Fund I, SBICAP Ventures Ltd said 144 deals have been given preliminary approvals which will complete another 85,000 homes.

In November 2019, the centre had announced Rs 25,000-crore fund - Special Window for Affordable & Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) - to help complete over 1,500 stalled housing projects comprising 4.58 lakh housing units across the country. SBICAP Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State Bank of India, is the investment manager of the fund. "We have given final approvals to about 105 deals which will complete 61,000 homes. We have given prelim approvals to 144 deals which will complete another 85,000 homes. In all, we are targeting to complete about 249 deals which will complete almost about 1,50,000 homes," Kazi said. He said, of the deals which have been given final approvals, 57 deals are those where lenders have NOC (No Objection Certificate). Kazi said the fund has completed handover of about 2,500 homes and is targeting at 10,000 homes this year.

Draft Shimla Development Plan Questions Purview of NGT

The Draft Shimla Development Plan (SDP) not only questions the purview of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in restricting the number of storeys, but also justifies the proposal to allow buildings with 2.5 floors in the congested no-construction core area on the basis of population density. The draft plan, which has been notified for objections and suggestions by the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department, defends the relaxations in construction in violation of the NGT's November 2017 order.

"While disposing of the case, the learned tribunal (NGT) has entered a field which does not belong to it. Whether a building should be single storey or three-storey is for the competent authority to decide. The TCP Department does not come under the purview of the NGT. Moreover, Himachal Pradesh is not a non-compliant state as it has been taking care of its environment and town planning," reads the observation on page 165 while deliberating upon the implications of the NGT order. "The ban on construction beyond two-and-a-half floors in these areas has not helped much and, in turn, has encouraged illegal developments on the outskirts," is another observation. This, meanwhile, can be viewed as an admission that the TCP Department, Shimla MC and other agencies have failed to check illegal constructions. Interestingly, all efforts by the state government to secure relief against the NGT order, which banned new constructions in the core area and restricted constructions to two-and-a-half storeys in Shimla Planning Area (SPA), have failed. With the Assembly elections scheduled later this year, the BJP regime is under pressure to give relief to the owners of about 25,000 unauthorised constructions in the state, with almost 20,000 being within the SPA. The development plan draft justifies the proposal to allow two-and-a-half-storey structures in the core area and three-and-a-half floors in rest of the SPA on the basis of population density. As per the draft plan, population density in Shimla MC area is 77 persons per hectare (pph) whereas in areas outside the MC, it is below 7 pph, which indicates that these area can still accommodate more population and settlement development, if planned well. The desirable population as per norms for hilly areas ranges from 60 to 90 pph. In eight of the present 24 wards in the Shimla MC, this figure has crossed 100 pph. "However, the population density in only two of these eight wards (falling in the core area) exceeds 100 pph," the SDP reads. It also points out that in 14 wards, the density population is well below 50 pph. While estimating the existing density, the floating tourist population was incorporated with local population in all 24 wards, based on the number of hotels available, beds and tourist destination in each ward.

AP Township and Infra Dev Corp Chairman Reviews Housing Projects & Registration Portal

Andhra Pradesh Township and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APTIDCO) Chairman J. Prasanna Kumar conducted a review meeting over the status of TIDCO housing projects in the three districts - Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam - with the engineering officials at the VMRDA office here on Saturday. Prasanna Kumar enquired about the works of the TIDCO projects in the three districts and registration procedure. He also discussed about APIGRS web portal which is used for house registrations and steps to prevent glitches in the site.

He said that by the end of March at least 800 registrations should be completed in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts, while in Visakhapatnam Urban at least 1,500 registrations should be completed. Prasanna Kumar also asked the officials to prepare an action plan for planting about 35,000 saplings at all the APTIDCO projects as part of beautification project. Superintending Engineer U. Koteswara Rao, Quality Control Superintending Engineer Rami Reddy and others were present.

Amruth Housing Scheme in 27 Gram Panchayats of Karnataka

In all, 27 gram panchayats have been identified in Mandya district of Karnataka for implementation of Amrut Grameena Vasati Yojane. This was stated by Mandya district in-charge Secretary V. Ramprasad Manohar while reviewing the progress of the Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) in Mandya on February 19.

The district in-charge minister K. Gopalaiah has identified the 27 gram panchayats where the project will be implemented. Officials were directed to identify and prepare a list of beneficiaries who qualify for housing under the scheme. Under this programme. those identified as homeless will be allotted a house. The scheme was launched to mark the 75th year of Independence. With respect to other ongoing housing projects in the district, the Secretary said based on the physical progress of the project and individual units, the subsidy amount was being directly credited to the accounts of the beneficiaries. The officials should ensure that the physical progress was expedited so as to complete the works on time. Ramprasad Manohar said that in the days to come all the works taken up for implementation under the KDP in the district will be inspected. Hence, officials were asked to show physical and financial progress in project implementation. The amount sanctioned for critical works, like drinking water project, street lights, roads and underground drainage, should not lapse, he said and announced that a department-wise assessment of the progress of the KDP will be conducted at the taluk level in the coming days. He told officials to complete pending works for which the money has been sanctioned for various departments, including minor irrigation, department of health and family welfare, sericulture, horticulture, agriculture. The officials were warned that action would be initiated against them in case the works sanctioned under ''Namma Grama Namma Raste' were not completed and the funds allotted were allowed to lapse.

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