State to amend stamp duty again
After slashing the stamp duty from 6-7 percent to two percent last year, the State has proposed to amend the stamp duty by one percent on property deals valued up to Rs 1 crore. The revision might propel housing demand in the otherwise sluggish realty landscape in the upcoming quarters.
Solar panels in affordable housing projects
Another affordable housing project by Eden Realty in suburban Serampore aims to provide solar power to 90 percent of the common area, saving about Rs 1.25 crore per year. The monthly maintenance charges will be less than Rs 1 per sq ft, bolstering liveability index of the locale.
New infrastructure projects on the way
To improve the connectivity quotient, the State has envisaged monorail service in New Town and Salt Lake areas. Also, four major traffic intersections of New Town have been identified to build subways and underpasses to decongest the traffic movement and ensure pedestrian safety. In another move, the State has planned to allocate Rs 7,000 crore for making Alipore ‘Green and Clean’. The New Garia-Airport metro project, which was long pending due to land acquisition hurdles, has finally received a green signal for the commencement of construction work.
Tax rebate for senior citizens
The State has proposed a ten percent rebate on property tax for citizens aged 60 years or above. The move is anticipated to provide relief to taxpayers on properties under the jurisdiction of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) from the next financial year. KMC may also grant tax relief to owners, who preserve ponds, tanks or water bodies.
Property values in Kolkata remained stagnant for the second consecutive quarter due to the snail-paced implementation of Housing Industry Regulation Act (HIRA) - West Bengal’s version of RERA. However, the rental rates registered an upswing of four percent in Oct-Dec 2018 vs. the same quarter in 2017. Lack of clarity over GST rates and stamp duty rules further put the prospective homebuyers on a wait-and-watch mode. The city witnessed muted sales, which stood at around 3,000 units in the last quarter of 2018.
While the developers refrained from launching new projects, a township project in Serampore aided Kolkata to top the charts with respect to maximum housing units launched in Oct-Dec 2018. The developers have now shifted their focus from launching new projects to selling their nearly three-year old unsold inventory of about 42,000 residential units in the ensuing quarters.
A revolutionary decision to introduce an online process for granting mutation is touted to cheer the stakeholders. It is aimed at bringing transparency, reducing timelines and saving efforts while applying for mutation offline, boding well with new and existing homebuyers.
Delay in land acquisition for Joka-Esplanade metro, the repair work of the Majerhat Bridge and lack of clarity on the soon-to-be operational East-West metro corridor marred the realty sentiment. A slash in GST rates to five percent, relaxation of stamp duty rules, and quick project registrations under HIRA may spell good news for the residential sector in the subsequent quarters.
Amidst the confusion to adopt RERA over WBHIRA, the year 2018 has ended on a dull note for Kolkata as many developers refrained from launching new projects. Further, lack of clarity over GST on unde-construction projects and stamp duty rules dampened the city’s realty landscape. On a positive note, Kolkata witnessed almost 60 percent incremental growth of new housing units, this quarter. Real estate stakeholders adopted a wait-and-watch approach, anticipating revised GST and stamp duty rates to revive the buying sentiment in the forthcoming quarters.
Kolkata failed to record any movement in average ‘ask’ rates of residential properties in Oct-Dec 2018 vs. the previous quarter. Subdued number of new project launches kept price points under pressure. The city, however, witnessed a slight increment in demand for ready homes vis-à-vis under-construction units. While a majority of the demand lies for properties priced under Rs 25 lakh, the city reported maximum supply in Rs 25-40 lakh budget category, resulting in muted sales this quarter, too.
The western quadrant of Kolkata led the city with about 4,300 new housing units being added to the market this quarter. However, localities of Kolkata East such as Rajarhat and New Town accounted for a total of 70 percent of enquiries, this quarter.
The uncertainty in the commencement of the East-West metro corridor kept the market muted, nevertheless resulting in a 2-3 percent increment in ‘ask’ price of housing inventory in the neighbouring localities of Salt Lake, Barrackpore and Dum Dum. The residential pockets of South Kolkata recorded an upsurge of four percent in average ‘ask’ rates. Joka, however, witnessed a dip of two percent, QoQ, due to delay in acquiring land for the Joka metro depot.
Impending land acquisition deals and Majerhat Bridge collapse have severely affected the construction of Joka-Esplanade metro station, marring the buying sentiment, especially in the neighbouring localities such as Joka, Dayal Bagh, Bara Nagar and Thakurpur.
The city’s rental graph head north in the last one year with the average weighted rental prices recording a four percent increment in Oct-Dec 2018 vs. Oct-Dec 2017. An uptrend in rental values was witnessed in the housing pockets of South Kolkata such as Patuli, Kalikapur, Mukundapur, Maheshtala, Santoshpur, Naktala and Bansdroni. Action Area III of New Town in Kolkata East topped the rental charts at 12 percent, YoY.
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