A consumer's guide to using MahaRERA data
Details on MahaRERA website can help consumers in several ways, as long as they understand what data points to look for and how to interpret them.
The data available on the MahaRERA website makes it one of the most detailed and informative among RERA websites deployed so far. It also makes it one of the most potentially useful for end-users and investors to base their decisions on.
The MahaRERA site provides consumers with a number of important details regarding ongoing residential real estate projects, and also new project launches, which were not available earlier. These details can help consumers in several ways, as long as they understand what data points to look for and how to interpret them.
Here are some handy tips:
1. Project details: MahaRERA requires submission of all the project details, be it a new launch or an ongoing one which has not received a completion certificate prior to RERA commencement. The exact boundaries of the plot, complete information on the number of wings or towers in the project, their exact configurations, the common amenities provided and the number of car parking spaces booked and available, as well as the details of the project's infrastructure works, are available online.
Details of approved FSI and the recreational open areas in each project are also mentioned. The developer must also submit all the approvals he has received for the project, including the land title search report, building plan approval, proforma of the allotment letter, etc. It is easy to search for these details on the MahaRERA website.
2. Project performance: Details related to the performance of a particular residential project is also available on the MahaRERA website. In fact, developers have to update the sales achieved in a project on a quarterly basis. Tracking the sales of a project has now become a lot easier and transparent. Earlier, buyers were often unclear about the actual sales that a developer had achieved and depended largely on information by the developer's sales team, which could not be easily verified. Analyzing the sales achieved can help a consumer understand the kind of traction a project is garnering on the market, and accordingly take a much better-informed purchase decision.
3. Developer's details: MahaRERA makes disclosure of all information regarding the promoters of the project mandatory. This includes any pending or prior litigation against them, which is and should be a key concern for any consumer. Apart from this, the track record of the promoter is now disclosed — this includes his/her educational background, prior projects undertaken, financial details such as authenticated IT returns, audited balance sheets, etc. Such information was definitely not easy to obtain earlier, especially when it came to developers who are not listed entities.
4. Project completion timelines: The MahaRERA data also clearly indicates the original timeline that a developer has committed to for the completion of a project — as well as the revised completion date, if applicable. This helps consumers understand exactly when they can expect possession of their flat. In fact, the penalty for delays is so strong that developers now prefer to declare a fairly extended timeline for completion. In many cases, a true assessment of the timeline can be done by following the status of construction, which will also be updated on the MahaRERA site.
5. Information about real estate agents: Very often, aspiring property buyers are confused about which real estate agent to approach for their requirements. While some prefer local agents, others are more comfortable with brokers attached to big banks. A lot of this confusion has been put to rest with a mandatory registration of brokers authorised to sell flats in different projects. Buyers can look under each project head on the website.
6. Micro-market analysis: Prior to zeroing in on a particular location, a consumer must always conduct a rough survey of the likely areas under consideration. This task has been simplified, as the MahaRERA website provides information on the area-wise performance of residential markets across the city. Current data disclose sales and upcoming supply for all the micro markets within Mumbai city, its suburbs and Thane. It also gives details of configuration-wise sales in each of these markets.
While a lot of challenges have been addressed, some still exist — for instance, MahaRERA still does not provide information on the pricing of apartments. Also, the bulk of the data available is given project-wise, making it challenging to collate and interpret it for a micro-market analysis.
Another difficulty is that the data on the escrow accounts required to be maintained is not available.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that MahaRERA has now armed consumers with a granularity of details on residential markets, which was not available to them previously. As the RERA concept evolves further, keeping in mind that it is a process and not an event, the available information will become even more useful.(The writer is CEO & Country Head of JLL India)