The term ‘property’ has a broad connotation and is used in varied senses. In fact, if you take a look at your surroundings, anything and everything you see can be categorised as a property. Regardless of its physical presence, as long as it has a personal or monetary value attached to it, it can be classified as property. On that note, let’s take a look at some of the common types of property under law.

Definition of property

Property refers to any tangible or intangible asset that an individual or entity owns. It can include land, buildings, houses, apartments, commercial spaces, and even intellectual property such as patents and copyrights. In the context of real estate, property primarily refers to land and the structures built on it. As per law, the types of properties can be categorised based on their usage, physical existence, ownership rights and so on. The following section deals with some of such classifications.

Types of property: Residential, commercial, industrial & agricultural

The most commonly used distinction of property types is based on usage. Per se, there are four types of properties available in the Indian real estate market:

  • Residential property: This includes houses, apartments, and condominiums where people live.
  • Commercial property: These are properties used for business purposes, such as offices, retail stores, and warehouses.
  • Industrial property: These properties are used for manufacturing and production activities.
  • Agricultural property: Land used for farming and cultivation of crops falls under this category.

Types of property: Movable property and immovable property

In India, property is classified into two broad categories - movable property and immovable property.

Movable property: Movable property refers to assets that can be easily moved or transferred from one place to another. Examples of movable property include vehicles, furniture, jewellery, and cash. Investing in movable property has the following benefits:

  • Flexibility: Movable property can be easily transported and relocated as per the owner's requirements.
  • Liquidity: Movable assets can be quickly converted into cash if needed.
  • Diversification: Investing in different types of movable property can help spread the risk.

Immovable property: Immovable property refers to assets that cannot be moved or transferred easily. This includes land, buildings, and any permanent structures on the land. Benefits of investing in immovable property are:

  • Appreciation: Land and buildings tend to appreciate in value over time, providing a good return on investment.
  • Stability: Immovable property is considered a stable investment option, especially in the long term.
  • Income Generation: Rental income from immovable property can provide a regular source of income.
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Types of property: Tangible property and intangible property

Based on their physical existence, properties can be divided into two categories:

Tangible property: Tangible property refers to physical assets that can be seen and touched. These include land, buildings, machinery, and vehicles. In the real estate industry, tangible property plays a crucial role.

Intangible property: Intangible property refers to assets that cannot be physically touched but still hold value. This includes intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, franchises, stock and bond certificates, software, securities, and copyrights.

Types of property: Private property and public property

Based on the rights of ownership, there are two types of properties in India:

Private property: Private property refers to land or real estate that is owned by an individual or a group of individuals. It is not owned or controlled by the government. In India, private property ownership is protected by the Constitution and some examples of it includes apartments, private wells, securities and trademarks.

Public property: Public property refers to land or real estate that is owned and controlled by the government. It includes parks, roads, government buildings, and other public spaces. These properties are meant for the use and benefit of the general public.

Types of property: Personal property and real property

Types of properties can also be distinguished further as personal and real property and here’s how that works:

Personal property: The term ‘personal property’ covers a broad spectrum and includes all types of property owned by an individual. It can include both tangible or intangible and movable or immovable assets of a person.

Real property: Real property or real estate property covers land and all the developments made on the land. For instance, consider buildings, roads, crops and any such development that is fixed on the land. As a result, real property comes under the category of immovable property.

Types of property: Corporeal property and incorporeal property

When it comes to real estate, there are two main types of properties - corporeal property and incorporeal property. Let's take a closer look at each:

Incorporeal property: Incorporeal or intellectual property refers to intangible assets that cannot be physically touched. This includes rights, licenses, patents, and trademarks. This categorisation is primarily based on the rights of ownership. Per se, intellectual property comes with incorporeal rights, which means legal rights over things that do not have a physical existence.

Corporeal property: Corporeal property refers to tangible assets that can be physically touched and seen. This includes residential and commercial buildings, land, and other structures. It can include both movable and immovable property and real and personal property as long as the asset has a physical existence.

Property is a valuable asset that can provide both shelter and financial security. Whether you want to buy a home, start a business, or diversify the investment portfolio, understanding the types of properties and the current market trends is crucial. Consult with a trusted real estate advisor to make informed decisions and maximise your returns.