Saturday, August 29, 2015

Revival of Real estate

The world economy seems to be slowly emerging from the shadows of the recession that engulfed the entire economic world since September 2008. The Indian real estate, after a rough patch in 2008, is looking optimistic, driven by price corrections, softening of interest rates, launch of affordable housing, and improved liquidity. The recessionary condition of 2008-09 has helped to highlight problems / loopholes marring the real estate industry that remained hidden in a buoyant market. Thus real estate sector is looking forward to adequate policy measures by the government and their implementation.

On the policy front, uncertainty on future course of industry persists in the absence of a clear policy framework for the sector. To the extent possible, government should clarify its expectation from the sector towards contribution to economic growth, failing which, no defined approach can be adopted by the real estate investors.

Further given the liquidity crunch witnessed in 2008-09, there is a need for further easing of lending norms for the sector and given recent controversies surrounding FDI in the sector, clear policy statement on FDI participation in the sector would be welcomed.

Incentives on the tax front could be in the form of re-introduction of tax benefits for development of affordable houses / townships and increasing deduction currently 1 available on interest and M principal repayment on housing loans.
On the commercial real estate front, with expected growth in tourism, extending tax deduction to all categories of hotels and in all districts and enhancing the deduction period from 5 years to 10 years can provide requisite boost.

Keeping in perspective delay and liquidity crunch being faced by SEZ developers, measures can be taken to change tax holiday period from date of notification to date of operations. Levy of service tax on commercial lease rentals can be done away with or deduction can be allowed.

Luxury homes for rich Indians Developers from the US, the UK, 
Singapore and the UAE, are betting big on Indians who are capable of buying Rs. 1.5 crore plus properties. There is a new law under which one can legitimately take $2,00,000 out of India and invest in properties or shares. This has facilitated high net worth Indians [HNI] to invest in properties abroad.

Prices at various places around the world have fallen sharply between 10 and 40 per cent. Also, rupee has become stronger against pound and dollar. So, one can actually buy a house in London, even if not a luxurious one. The real estate prices in Dubai have also seen a steep fall. One can actually buy a villa in Dubai's posh Palm Island for Rs. 5 crore. This is almost one third of the price Dubai-based developers were quoting earlier it is learnt. The failure of two government-owned companies in Dubai has sent the property prices crashing. If a high-end row house was being sold at Rs. 2.5 crore plus in June 2009, the same property is available at Rs. 1.5 crore. Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, a government-promoted company is selling 2, 3 and 4 BHK row houses near Dubai for 560-850 dirhams per sqft.

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