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Poor need breakthrough homes

The government can play a critical role in providing affordable housing for poor, Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director of the Mumbai-based Hirandandani Group, told HT in an interview.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON OCT 29, 2007 03:50 PM IST

Despite the perception that prices are coming down, you feel the real estate prices are going to strengthen by over 15 per cent this year alone. Is it location-specific or overall?

As a matter of fact, we have seen prices gain by 15 per cent by now in the current year. As the interest rates start easing, and some signs of this are already visible, overall demand is going to improve further.

Secondly, prices in the major cities and its suburbs, which also have proper infrastructure, will continue to see a rise in demand. At the same time there is not much of supply is coming in these areas. However, the peripheries, which are also close to the cities but do not have required infrastructure, would face difficulty and some correction is expected in these areas.

Given the dynamics of market economics, the government has a limited role to play. How do you think that that government can play a critical role in providing affordable homes for the poor?

In this post-liberalization era, housing is the only sector which has not witnessed reform. It has started recently but at still at a stage of infancy. In the current market, even slum-dwellers can afford to buy houses of 250 square feet area. There should be some mechanism of providing assistance in terms of loans and also land at certain rates for this specific purpose.

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