Mumbai property registration activity at 10-year record high in September

Mumbai property registration activity at 10-year record high in September

Property registrations in Mumbai, the country’s biggest real estate market, have yet again recorded a 10-year high as the surge in deal conclusions continued in September led by record-low home loan rates and incentives offered by realty developers.

Both property registrations as well as stamp duty revenue scaled a new peak during the month, making it the best September in a decade. The monthly performance has even surpassed the pre-Covid registration levels witnessed in September 2019.

As many as 7,645 deals were registered in the country’s most expensive property market during the month, up 13% from previous month and 36% from a year ago, while it has recorded an 89% jump from pre-Covid level, according to data from the Inspector General of Registration, Maharashtra.

During the month, the state government has fetched revenue worth Rs 522 crore through stamp duty charges, up 65% and 33% from a year ago and pre-Covid level, respectively.

Realty developers expect the pace of both sales and launches to improve further from hereon.

“The government’s support with various policy measures has helped convert a lot of indecisive and first-time homebuyers. In spite of 10 days of Shraadh, Mumbai has witnessed high sales in the month and it is only expected to further pick up in the festive season. While few developers would be launching their new projects on the occasion of festivals, many would be offering attractive pricing and flexible payment plans to boost sales,” said Sandeep Runwal, MD, Runwal Group and President Elect, NAREDCO Maharashtra.

He expects the housing demand and supply to witness an uptick in the upcoming festive season.

Interestingly, the growth recorded in property deals in September was without any tax breaks or stamp duty exemption. The benefit of lower stamp duty announced for buyers of new homes ended in March.

The government had given a four-month window for registration of deals if the stamp duty was paid before March end. That window also closed in July, when Mumbai had recorded the highest number of property registrations in July in 10 years, as buyers took advantage of a lower stamp duty rate offered by the Maharashtra government to spur sales amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the number had declined in August from the previous month, as the benefit of a reduced stamp duty rate offered by the Maharashtra government to homebuyers was no longer available.

The on-year growth in property registrations witnessed in September also assumes significance as the year-ago period was the first month of the limited window stamp duty reduction provided by the state government.

Buyers in the higher ticket-size segments of Rs 1 crore and above were very active during the stamp duty cut window from September 2020 to March 2021 and then reduced their activities post the roll-back of incentive. However, with the improving business environment and wealth effect, this segment has started witnessing higher traction. According to a Knight Frank India study, the share of houses in Rs 1 crore and above has increased to 49% in September, compared to 30% in April and 40% in June.

The September performance has also received some support from the state government’s decision to give a duty discount to female homebuyers.

On March 8, to celebrate International Women’s Day, the Maharashtra government announced a 1% concession in prevailing stamp duty for women homebuyers for the financial year of 2021-22.

The share of female homebuyers in new residential sales in Mumbai has been improving, largely on the back of this stamp duty incentive.

The central government has also been promoting homeownership by women across the country for the last few years through various policies.

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