For an industry reeling under recession due to the ‘T’ agitation, the CM’s lack of interest was unnerving. But late Wednesday night, when Kiran Kumar Reddy was named chief minister, it wasn’t just Chittoor district that erupted in joy but even realtors in Hyderabad who heaved a collective sigh of relief. Enthused by the change of guard, they say in politically correct terms, that “Rosaiah was a good man but couldn’t help the sector. There was too much for him to handle.” Industry insiders also point out that Rosaiah couldn’t assert himself which became too obvious in instances such as the Emaar-APIIC scam.
Now, city’s realtors and builders have pinned their hopes of stability not just on “young blood, bolder moves” of Kiran Kumar Reddy but significantly his considerable interest in real estate. However, they choose to elaborate other crucial factors that have endeared him to the developers. “He is a ‘hybrid’ variety CM. He hails from Rayalaseema but is a true-blue Hyderabadi. And he is close to Jagan,” says Mukkala Madhusudan, a city-based realtor, calculating how all the elements that can upset the city’s rhythm could be taken care of with Kiran Kumar Reddy as CM.
Realtors and builders note that the new chief minister is accessible, possibly one reason why among the first set of people calling on him on Friday to wish him on his new assignment would be the builder lobby. It is probably for the same reason why even before he became chief minister, some realtors had already met him to discuss housing schemes for the low income group. But on Friday, builders would take forward the request that was left unattended by Rosaiah two months ago. “After the recession, there was a correction in the Indian market but after that while rest of the country recovered, AP did not because of the T issue. The government could not address it and failed to project the inherent strength of the city, its good infrastructure. Now the young CM will showcase Hyderabad as an investment destination,” said C Sekhar Reddy, president of the Andhra Pradesh Builder’s Forum.
But there are some among builders who say that Rosaiah actually did make some real estate-friendly moves. From reducing the impact fee for residential properties to bringing down the lease and rental registrations to 0.5 of the total value apart to giving concession in the payout for layout regularisation, the Rosaiah government did make some right moves, notes P Prem Kumar, president, Andhra Pradesh Real Estate Developers Association. Such moves, however, did not stir up the kind of interest in properties the builders had expected.
“These were technical moves but the sentiment that brings customers to the market was lacking,” says a realtor.
However, the builder–realtor lobby is unanimous in believing that good times are here again. Prem Kumar said that it would be Kiran Kumar Reddy’s “youth” and “proactive decisions” that would put the industry back on track.