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Union Budget 2017: Ten proposals that are likely to influence real estate

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Union Budget 2017: Ten proposals that are likely to influence real estate

The Union Budget 2017 promises to continue economic reforms, control inflation and prudent fiscal management. However, it provides little impetus in the short term to the real estate sector other than a boost to the affordable housing segment.

The Union Budget 2017 promises to continue economic reforms, control inflation and prudent fiscal management. However, it provides little impetus in the short term to the real estate sector other than a boost to the affordable housing segment.

“The infrastructure status for affordable housing and tax relief for real estate developers are positive steps but not enough to boost residential sales in the short term. The government has provided up to Rs 12,500 income tax benefit to individuals, which is insufficient to provide the demand side push to the sector,” says a research report by Colliers International.

Here are ten Budget proposals that are likely to influence the realty sector going ahead:

1) Infrastructure status to Affordable Housing – boost for affordable residential sector

Impact: Union Budget 2017-18 granted the much-demanded “Infrastructure” status to affordable housing. The step is well aligned with the government agenda of ‘Housing for All by 2022’. This will allow easier access to capital for developers, at a much lower rate with a longer amortisation period. In addition, it allows developers access to viability gap funding and tax incentives. For affordable housing purpose instead of the built up area of 30 and 60 sqm, the carpet area of 30 and 60 sqm will be counted. The 30 sqm limit will apply only in case of municipal limits of 4 metropolitan cities while for the rest of the country including the peripheral areas of metros, limit of 60 sqm will apply.

The government has also extended the time of completion of such projects from 3 years to 5 years. Buyers of affordable housing got a boost with the announcement of interest subvention of 4% and 3% on loans up to INR0.9 million (USD13,318) and INR1.2 million (USD17,758), respectively. The proposed deduction of the income tax rate to 5% for taxpayers having income less than INR0.5 million per annum (USD7,400 million) will increase the disposable income of the common man which will, in turn, raise spending power and increase investment in the affordable segment.

Thus, “more projects will now be eligible for profit-linked income tax exemptions. So far, we have seen limited participation from private developers in the affordable housing segment despite high demand. Profit-linked exemption along with the infrastructure status for affordable housing will push developers to undertake more affordable housing projects, thus increasing private player’s participation in the sector,” said Amit Oberoi, National Director, Knowledge Systems, Colliers International India.

2) 10 million homes to be built by 2019 for the homeless and those living in kutcha houses

Impact: To stimulate the rural housing sector in India, INR230 billion (USD3.4 billion) has been allocated under the Gramin Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. In line with their aim to promote affordable housing not only in cities but also in rural areas, the government intends to complete 10 million homes by 2019.

Currently, the housing sector is active mostly in Tier-I and Tier-II cities in India; however, the scheme will not only provide necessary housing to the poor but also promote the residential sector in rural areas.

3) Tax breather for notional rent income on unsold unoccupied completed projects

Impact: At present, houses that are unoccupied after getting completion certificates are subject to tax on notional rental income. Builders for whom constructed buildings are stock-in-trade, the rule will be applicable only after one year of receiving the completion certificate. The law will provide some breathing time for developers to liquidate their inventory.

4) Holding period for immovable assets reduced from 3 years to 2 years and indexation to be shifted from 1.4.1981 to 1.4.2001

Impact: This is a significant step regarding capital gains taxation provisions on land as well as buildings. Reduction in the holding period and amendment in the base year indexation will considerably reduce capital gains tax providing tax relief for several asset holders.
It is likely to increase the government’s tax base through immovable property and encourage the mobility of capital assets. With the proposed taxation provisions, property holders are more likely to engage in the sale of real estate, thereby giving a much-needed fillip to the sector

5) National Housing Bank (NHB) will refinance individual housing loans of about INR200 billion (USD3 billion) in 2017-18

Impact: The demonetisation drive towards the end of 2016 has resulted in surplus cash within the banks; thereby allowing major banks across the country to lower their lending rates.

“The lending rate cut will be welcomed by not only new homebuyers, but will also be a reason to rejoice for homebuyers who have already taken a flexible housing loan. However, the refinancing scheme from the NHB will improve the sentiment of current homeowners, especially those subjected to high lending rates in the past,” said Oberoi.

6) Increase in investment in infrastructure and development projects

Impact: Following the announcement of several major infrastructure projects in 2016, the union budget disclosed one of the biggest budget allocations for the infrastructure sector. About INR1310 billion (USD19.4) billion) has been allocated for railways and INR64.9 billion (USD0.9 billion) for highways which includes 2,000 kms of coastal roads, facilitating better connectivity between major port cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi and other cities and small towns.

Similarly, “select airports in Tier-II cities will see investment for operation and maintenance through the public-private partnership (PPP) model. The government plans to elevate the current state of infrastructure in India aiming to create a state of the art infrastructure network. Improved infrastructure is more likely to catch the attention of foreign investors and also aid and enhance investment in the real estate sector. The government is looking to upgrade airports in tier-II cities and proposed to monetise unused land assets. Another positive step is the decision to introduce a bill to resolve disputes in PPP projects,” said Oberoi.

7) Capital gains tax liability changed for Joint Development Agreement (JDA) signed for development of property

Impact: If a Joint Development Agreement is signed for the development of property, then the capital gains tax will only be paid in the year of completion of the project. Apart from several other measures to reduce capital gains tax, this step will provide tax relief not only to the landowner but also the builder/promoter, thereby decreasing their liability.

8) No cash transaction above INR0.3 million (USD4439) permitted

Impact: As one of the extensions to the demonetisation drive, the government plans to disallow any cash transaction above INR0.3 million (USD4439). The real estate sector involved several cash transactions before the demonetisation drive. However, buyers and developers had turned cautious post-demonetisation with a notable reduction in the number of cash transactions.

Thus, “in our opinion, this provision may only lead to a nominal impact on the sector in the short term, while it will lay down the foundation for a transparent economy and boost foreign investment,” said Oberoi.

9) Abolition of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)

Impact: Over the last two years, the government has implemented several reforms to encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India. As more than 90% of the total FDI inflows currently take place through an automatic route, the government has decided to do away with the FIPB in 2017-18.

This is in conjunction with the government’s view to further liberalize FDI norms and attract foreign investors. Under the automatic route for FDI, the foreign investors will not require any prior approval from the FIPB and will only be subject to laws defined for each sector.

10) Introduction of innovative land-pooling mechanism for development of the new state capital of Andhra Pradesh

Impact: The budget announced that the new state capital of Andhra Pradesh is being constructed by an innovative land-pooling mechanism without the use of the Land Acquisition Act. Land acquisition remained a much-debated issue and a major hurdle with respect to large-scale developments.

The new land pooling mechanism may significantly reduce land-related disputes and increase the speed of development. The exemption of capital gains tax will uplift the confidence of landowners whose land is being pooled for the creation of the capital city under the government scheme. However, the exemption is only limited to those who were the owners of such land as of June 2, 2014, the date on which the state of Andhra Pradesh was reorganized.

Conclusion

Overall, it was a positive budget for the sector and the government has done well to create awareness for the need to increase tax compliance. “Demonetisation was a temporary setback and the economy may bounce back. In particular, we look forward to the gains once Goods and Services Tax (GST) is rolled out later this year,” said Oberoi.

Chennai Real Estate News

Home Buyers Lose The Agents And Opt For Digital Route

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With passing time digital media is becoming the preferable choice of the buyers as well as the developers. Developers are going to online platforms and social media to reach out to their target audience and also the buyers are increasingly going online for searching homes. This makes digital media a mainstream platform to advertise in real estate industry.

C Shekar Reddy, Immediate Past President of CREDAI explained why digital platforms are becoming more popular in the real estate. He said, “IT employees, NRIs form the majority of home buyers today who are tech savvy and use their smart phones for searching homes. Also most of the home buyers today are being influenced by social media while purchasing a home or property. As a result builders and realtors are putting utmost focus on digital platforms to reach out to potential consumers”.

The growing trend can be observed by the way the builders are spending on online platforms. It is far more than traditional marketing and publicity avenues unlike past. Builders have also become conscious of their presence and reputation on property portals and other online platforms. They are taking each step carefully so they can make the right connect with their buyers.

K Sreedhar Reddy of Telangana Real Estate Developers Association explained the growing importance of digital media, said, “Digital platforms and social media provide builders a chance to reach to the consumers in a more focused way. Also they can track the efficiency of strategy online. The cost of acquiring customers through online and social media is also lesser when compared to other advertising channels. Therefore digital platforms are becoming popular in realty sector”.

As per the inside sources, this trend is not only visible in the metros like Mumbai, Chennai or Hyderabad but also in Tier II & III cities. Customers as well as developers, both are relying more and more on digital platforms.

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Ahmedabad Real Estate News

CREDAI New India Summit

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credai new india summit

CREDAI is the apex body that represents over 12,000 private Real Estate developers spread across 23 state-level chapters and 177 cities in India. Established in 1999, CREDAI has worked hard to make the industry more organized and progressive by networking closely with Government representatives, policymakers, investors, finance companies, consumers and real estate professionals.

The New India Summit is another such effort from CREDAI to direct focus on Tier II, III and IV cities and develop them to be the forerunners of success. CREDAI New India Summit is all set to unleash the potential of an emerging India. This one small step has the power to give way to a new India.

For the longest time, our leaders and foresighted influencers have put all their time and energy in developing the Tier I cities namely Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. No doubt, these cities have really changed the way people look at India today. These cities are the epitome of advanced technology and modern culture. But they also face challenges due to the grave pressure of urbanization. Decreasing quality of life, increasing the cost of living, overpopulation and unemployment, increase in transit time and traffic congestion, expensive housing, hospitality, education and healthcare facilities are some of the issues that all the Tier I cities face today.

According to a report, smaller cities are developing 79% faster as compared to metros with just 21%. Our of the 12,000 CREDAI members, 76.77% of them are from Tier II, III and IV cities. Looking at the scenario, it is only innate to divert the energies in developing the areas which still have potential. Thus, offering a good quality life to people in those cities itself and taking the pressure off of the Tier I cities.

The Forbes Magazine has said small cities are India’s emerging business locations. The government has also been putting dedicated efforts into schemes that directly benefit the growth of Tier II, III and IV cities. Sustainable economic development, improving infrastructure and transportation, increasing employment opportunities, and introducing technologies for rapid urbanization are some of the prime agendas that the government has been taking actions on.

The CREDAI New India Summit will take place on the 9th and 10th November 2017 in Nagpur, Maharashtra.

Also Read: FS Realty Bags The 9th Realty Plus Excellence Awards (North) 2017

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Ahmedabad Real Estate News

Tata Value Homes Launches “Offer Of The Century” With 99 Hours Flash Sale on Affordable Homes

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Tata Value Homes – a 100 % subsidiary of Tata Housing – one of the leading real estate development companies in India, today announced the launch of ‘99 hours flash sale’ on Tata Value Homes across India. Through this offer, Tata Value Homes will enable customers to own their dream home with 99 percent funding by select banks. The scheme is applicable on the first 99 units across the projects and for a limited time frame of 99 hours starting from 2nd November to 6th November 2017.

Mr Rajeeb Dash, Head – Corporate Marketing, Tata Housing, said, “Tata Value Homes pioneered affordable housing in India and continues to introduce innovative offers to encourage fence-sitting buyers to take a first step towards owning a home. Customers have always been central to our business and this unique 99 hours flash sale is tailored to connect aspirers with their perfect residence from our diverse portfolio of projects.”

To avail the scheme, customers will have to log on to www.tatavaluehomes.com between 23rd October to 1st November and register using basic details. Post registration, customers can visit the site between 2nd November to 6th November 2017 to check for loan availability within 30 minutes and walk away with the allotment of the unit with a loan of 99% of the agreement value.

As the leading provider of homes under affordable housing segment, Tata Value Homes develops affordable housing that goes beyond merely providing a house, to one with a ‘neighbourhood and community’. The first 99 customers will have the convenience to buy a home from the Tata Value Homes projects such as New Haven, Bahadurgarh; New Haven Compact, Ahmedabad; Shubh Griha Ahmedabad; New Haven Boisar I & II; La Montana, Talegaon; New Haven Bengaluru, Santorini, Chennai; New Haven Ribbon Walk Chennai.

About Tata Value Homes Limited

Tata Value Homes Limited is 100% subsidiary of Tata Housing Development Company Limited, established in 2010, to exclusively focus on value and affordable housing. The vision of Tata Value Homes Limited is to be the largest home provider in India. Tata Value Homes Limited has introduced two pan-India brands – Shubh Griha (Value Homes) and New Haven (Affordable Homes). Tata Value Homes Limited is also developing a Mediterranean themed project “La Montana” near Talegaon, Pune, while Shubh Griha is currently being developed in Boisar & Vasind near Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and New Haven is currently being developed at  Bosiar,  Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. Tata Value Homes Limited today has projects in Mumbai, NCR, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru,  Chennai and Pune.

About Tata Housing

Tata Housing is a closely held public limited company and a subsidiary of Tata Sons. It is the first corporate to pioneer the concept of real estate development in India. It is widely recognized for quality construction, ethical and transparent business practices and timely delivery of properties. It has a pan-India and international presence with demonstrated capabilities in Construction, Engineering, Commercial / IT parks, Housing and Township development. It is known for international standards of design and green sustainable developments.

Also Read: Over 2 Crore Affordable Houses To Come Up Over Next Three Years

 

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