February 5, 2018
Register house using Aadhaar

Following Gujarat, the state has allowed buyers to register their property without witnesses using Aadhaar. The notice will come into effect from February 1. The department of registration and stamps issued a notification last week allowing verified Aadhaar credentials for property deals from next month. The state would be the first in the country to allow Aadhaar verification for property registration, said an official of the department. The decision was pending for the past year, said the official. “An amendment was made to Section 32A of the Registration Act, 1908, to introduce the new system. Aadhaar verification will fulfil the requirements of Section 32A of the Registration Act, 1908, which relates to compulsory affixing of photograph,” said an official at the state inspector-general of registration (IGR) office.

The official said the new system would reduce crowding at registration offices. “With about 90% adults having Aadhaar cards, the process would be simpler and transparent,” said the official at the IGR office, adding that the consent-based Aadhaar authentication service would be cost-effective and fully auditable. The online Aadhaar verification was on for leave and licence registration. “The same will be done for the registration of new properties,” said a senior official in the IGR’s office. More than 7,000 documents are registered across the state daily and about 24 lakh registrations take place in a year.

Source: The Times of India, Saturday 20 January 2018

Luxury Homes persists…

When everybody is harping about affordable housing in the midst of a real estate slowdown, some developers continue to bet on luxury projects. The demand in this segment comes from High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). Well-established developers in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and NCR are focusing on such projects, while a majority stick to mid-income or affordable homes. Raheja Corp has two ultra-luxury project launches planned this year in south-central Mumbai.

High-value buyers are generally risk-averse and invest in equity, not debt. Hence, they prefer ready-to-move-in homes. Properties priced at Rs 15-25 crore saw good sales amidst rumours of developers switching to affordable housing projects in 2017. DLF recorded Rs 450 crore sales last November and December for properties priced between Rs 28 and 32 crore. Customers in the luxury segment have not only shown interest, but also brought properties. Luxury projects do not have speculative buyers but real buyers who are accomplished and buy for themselves.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 20 January 2018

Making high-rise buildings safer

Skyscrapers define the skyline of Mumbai and more high-rise buildings will develop considering the land constraints in the city. Although they look striking from outside, they bring a chill down the spine when a fire breaks out in such a building. Many a times, it has given rise to questions concerning the safety of residents inside the building. A few decades ago, high-rise structures didn't have enough safety measures, but with time, things have changed and developers today are giving more importance to the residents' safety by installing advanced fire and safety equipment, thus making the structure safe for the residents.

Source: The Times of India, Saturday 20 January 2018

GST relief for low-cost flats, 1st time purchasers

The GST rate has been reduced to 8% from the existing 12% on purchase of houses availing of the credit linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, and of houses that are constructed in a project that has got infrastructure status. The CLSS scheme under PMAY is defined in such a way that most first-house buyers are covered by it.  A first-house buyer with a household income of up to Rs 18 lakh/annum can avail of a benefit of up to Rs 2.7 lakh in buying a house or an apartment of up to 150 sq m (1,615 sq ft) carpet area. Those who do not qualify for CLSS will pay 12% GST for the same house.

The tax benefit will also be extended to an affordable housing project that has been given infrastructure status in case the maximum unit size is 646 sq ft carpet area. The cap on the size of housing units to avail the benefit under CLSS has been kept at 1,615 sq ft carpet area, which is equivalent to around 2,200 sq ft built-up area. This will cover most three-bedroom apartments and houses in the country, particularly in metro cities, Anand said.

Source: The Times of India, Friday 26 January 2018

Sales pick up as homes get cheaper

Residential real estate market is slowly coming out of the shadow of demonetization woes as housing sales across the top eight property markets for the quarter ended December have risen 28 percent from a year ago. While this is an uptick compared to a lower base recorded during the demonetization quarter, the performance was also helped by the implementation of RERA and effective 10-15% price correction across key markets.

However, it still remains tepid as it shows a drop of 28% compared to the last quarter of 2015 when these markets cumulatively recorded sales of 71,820 units, a Knight Frank India report said. Total sales for the second half of 2017 across these markets including Mumbai Metropolitan Region, National Capital Region, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad have declined 2% from a year ago to 107,316 units. It shows that although the demonetization impact is waning, the market is yet to see a complete revival and is still in buyers’ favour.

Source: The Times of India, Friday 26 January 2018

 Collector land redevelopment premium cut

The state cabinet recently decided to slash the premium to be paid to the government during redevelopment of housing societies on collector land from 25% to 10%. The premium is paid based on the ready reckoner rate of that particular locality.

Source: The Times of India, Wednesday 31 January 2018

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