“It’s better to buy a readymade house”

Says secretary of Madurai centre of Builders’ Association of India

Madurai: It is no secret that the cost of all commodities gradually goes up over a period of time. And housing projects come with a long time gap, between commencement and completion. People in the construction industry do permit a five per cent increase in input cost to complete a project.

But, of late, this gap between the estimate and actual cost on completion has widened to 30 per cent, says M. Selvakumaran, secretary of Madurai centre of Builders’ Association of India.

Be it steel, cement, sand, bricks or wood, the price of all materials has gone up considerably in the past one year. And for many the floating rate of interest, which they opted for their housing loan, itself, has been a cause of worry. For, it siphons off a considerable amount for the equated monthly instalment.

There are cases of suspension of projects midway due to cost escalation. Some have lost their plots in their pursuit to own a house.

An official from a nationalised bank says there is always a possibility to raise a supplementary housing loan, provided there is a revaluation certificate from the bank-approved valuer, based on the increase in cost of materials. “But if you have already taken the maximum permissible amount of loan based on your net income, we cannot entertain a supplementary demand,” he adds.

In Madurai, the cost of bricks, sand and wood have gone up manifold in the last one year.

Mr. Selvakumaran says that a load of bricks (3,000 numbers), which cost Rs. 9,000 in April 2007, has shot up to Rs. 12,000. Likewise, sand that is being brought from outside the district at Rs. 3,000 (250 cubic feet) has touched Rs. 4,500 in 12 months.

The labour cost too has weighed down the people’s dream. The daily wage of mason has reached Rs. 250 now from Rs. 180 last year.

Mr. Selvakumaran suggests that readymade house is the easier way to escape from “unplanned budget”. “You know what you are going to spend and confine your expenditure to it,” he says.

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