Ready reckoner remains static, experts say slash would have helped market

The slump in the real estate market has forced the state government to keep Ready Reckoner (RR) Rates unchanged. The order issued by the Inspector General of Registration on the last day of the current financial year states, “Taking into consideration the depressed conditions in the real estate market, the 2017-18 RR rates are to be considered for the financial year 2018-19.”

Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said this year the amendment in rules and the overall slowdown faced by the realty sector prompted the decision to maintain status quo in rates. Mumbai is divided into 700 zones for which RR rates are prepared annually. In the last five years, rates were increased by 6-7% annually except in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2001 when the government, despite there being no amendment, had reduced the RR rates.

Source: The Times of India, Sunday 1 April 2018

 M-RERA won’t entertain complaints post Flat possesion:

In an interesting development, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has ordered that any complaint by homebuyers with regards to incomplete work after taking possession of their residential apartments will not be entertained. This is expected to impact lakhs of homebuyers given the prevailing practice of taking possession of apartments even prior to the developer receiving the Occupancy Certificate for the project.

MahaRERA, while disposing off a complaint by members of Pune’s Balaji Infinity Society against a builder Anuj Developer, has held that their plea cannot be entertained as homebuyers have already taken possession of their apartments. “Since the complainants have already taken possession of their respective apartments, the complaint pertaining to incomplete works in their apartment cannot be entertained,” MahaRERA chairperson Gautam Chatterjee said in the order.

Source: The Economic Times, Monday 2 April 2018

In Realty, small size & right price work

Realty developers, with their compact residential apartment offerings, are gradually shifting towards the affordable housing segment, and many developers are now aligning their apartment configurations and supply with the budget ranges dictated by the demand. Realty developers across property markets are building apartments with smaller configurations with the idea of making houses affordable by reducing average apartment sizes and thereby bringing down the price. Developers are focusing on customer-centric products rather than aspirational premium apartments by launching the right kind of supply at the right price.

Last year, around 44% of the total launches across top seven property markets, or 55,000 residential apartments units, were priced below Rs 40 lakh. This trend of offering compact and affordable homes is expected to continue for some more time. “Affordable housing is the new poster boy of Indian real estate, with demand for affordably-priced homes easily putting all other segments in the shade.

Source: The Economic Times, Thursday 5 April 2018

Luxe Living

While owning a home remains an elusive dream for a majority of Indians, the affordable housing segment is the biggest winner in the country’s real estate scene. Nevertheless, the demand for luxury housing is likely to see a revival. India is home to the fourth largest population of millionaires (High Net worth Individuals) in the Asia Pacific region. High Net worth Individuals (HNWIs) are defined as those having investible assets of USD 1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables. NRIs and HNWIs form the maximum chunk of luxury buyers in India; Luxury investors in India also own luxury assets abroad. India is now home to 245,000 dollar millionaires with total household wealth at US$5 trillion.

Expert speak: “ The luxury real estate market in India is under-supplied. There is a difference between luxury homes and expensive homes. Luxury real estate is now synonymous with location and amenities such as home automation, centralised air conditioning, 24X7 concierge facility, etc. The supply in luxury real estate market is so scarce that home prices tend to be high in this segment. On the other hand, the demand for luxury homes continues to be strong. India is home to a large number of millionaires and there is a lot of interest from NRIs in Indian luxury real estate market.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 7 April 2018

Save LTCG Tax on Property

With tax planning high on a tax-payer’s list, here’s a list of things to keep in mind when calculating Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) and ways to save more. Why wait until the end of the year to plan your taxes, when you can be well-prepared? When you sell property, profit earned on such transactions could be either short term or long term in nature. In both cases, such transactions are liable to be taxed, which could be at the prescribed slab rate applicable for the individual if it is Short Term Capital Gain (STCG), and 20 per cent with indexation if it is Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG). There is no particular way to save tax on STCG, but there are a few ways you can do so with LTCG.

Things to keep in mind when planning to save LTCG tax: Experts say that capital gains are computed on the basis of the valuation adopted by the state’s stamp duty and registration authority. The tax authorities may object if the actual sale value is lower than the valuation of the property by the state authority. If you are unable to find a property worth buying, or the property you shortlisted would be ready only after a specified time period, you can deposit the gains from the property in Capital Gains Account Scheme (CGAS). You will have to reinvest the amount in the purchase of a residential property within two years, or for construction of the same within three years, advises tax experts.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 7 April 2018

A Golden bet on Property

Home-buyers have finally woken up to the fact that property is indeed one of the best investment bets and there is no occasion better than the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya to lock in on their dream home. Traditionally associated with the purchase of gold coins or jewellery, Akshaya Tritiya or Akha Teej is one of the most auspicious festivals in the Hindu calendar. Associated with wealth and prosperity, this is a day when families across the country invest in some form of gold in order to usher in good tidings throughout the year.

Gold vs Property: While gold has been India’s choice of investment for generations, investors have been turning towards real estate for greater capital appreciation. Amit Goenka, MD and CEO at Nisus Finance, explains, “The purchase of gold on Akshaya Tritiya is more for symbolic value than long-term security. Real Estate (RE) investment is a preferred asset class because: RE returns have significantly outperformed gold over the last decade or more. In fact, RE has provided positive real returns, which means it has appreciated more than inflation, thus preserving investors’ wealth; RE investment provides steady income from rent apart from capital appreciation, which gold does not; RE investment can be leveraged with cheap bank loans. Hence, one can buy assets worth three times the equity. Further, several subvention schemes and back-ending of purchaser’s equity contribution provide much higher Return-On-Equity (ROE) in under-construction properties. Today, RE developments are catering to end-consumers with smaller ticket sizes and higher transparency due to RERA. Akshaya Tritiya is seen as an auspicious period to consummate such purchases while also creating a valuable asset for the long-term.”

Source: Times Property, Saturday 14 April 2018

Checklist for land purchase

Buying a plot or land is a very complex process and hence one is required to be more cautious before making any final decision. Buyers should thoroughly check the following: Deed title: Check if the deed title is in the seller’s name and he has the full right to trade it. The original land deed or what is popularly called the 7/12 document should be provided. Encumbrance certificate: This document can be obtained from the office of the sub-registrar of the respective district in Maharashtra where the deed has been registered.

Agricultural land or not: It is must for the buyer to check whether the plot is an agricultural land or non-agricultural. There are restrictions on such lands and hence it is important that the buyer is cognizant of the land type before making the purchase. Shubika Bilkha, director of the Real Estate Management Institute (REMI) advises, “Plot buyers must also check that the land loans are reimbursed with a release certificate that has been issued by the bank and must get the property valued for the precise measure of land.” No development plans: Before buying land, it should be ensured that there are no planned infrastructural developments in and around the land. The government has the right to acquire land (as per LARR) for infrastructure construction.

Source: Mumbai Mirror, Saturday 14 April 2018

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