As we inch closer to the end of 2014, the real estate industry has steadily progressed in the last 12 months. After completion of bifurcation, tensions have considerably eased and realtors now believe that time has arrived to convert words into actions. In a free-wheeling chat with Express, R Chalapati Rao, national vice-president, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), speaks about the prospects of the industry and what needs to be done to enhance brand Hyderabad.
How would you assess the current real estate scenario in Hyderabad? What are the prospects like?
The real estate sector is still on the recovery path. If the media is doubtful, government is doubtful, the buyer is also doubtful. There has to be some kind of a boost that should encourage people that prices are going to grow. Only then, things will improve. There is no depth of demand but there hasn’t been an increase in the prices in the last few years. Unless there is an assurance that prices are going to go up, there is no urgency among the buyers to take a decision.
What are the major challenges which the sector in the city faces?
The main challenge in front of us is to restore the brand image of Hyderabad. Simply announcing some schemes is not going to help. We have to deliver. We were expecting whatever the government had promised to turn into a reality. But there are a lot of files which are pending for some time. The government has to get into working mode. The government and the administration have to project an image that they have come out of the bifurcation mode into a working mode.
Which part of Hyderabad is in demand? What areas have the brightest prospects?
In Hyderabad, west is always best. There is a lot of supply happening in this area, and 95 to 96 per cent of the office space is in the west. Apart from this, in some areas in the north-east of the city like Uppal has some office space as companies like Genpact and Infosys have been established there.
We have problems in Shamshabad area because of GO 111. People have to cross the GO 111 area to set up offices, which is a challenge. Secunderabad is also a different area and we have to cross the defence area to set up things.
What needs to be done to enhance brand Hyderabad?
For any place to develop, it requires infrastructure, skilled people, investors, amenities, etc. When all these things are there and the industry is still not growing, it means synergy is missing. Brand Hyderabad cannot be manufactured, it is only a bi-product of the combination of all others. If the infrastructure is working, government is working, brand Hyderabad will improve.