I am planning to buy a house in Andheri west, in Mumbai as it is close to all the major studios. Considering that traffic congestion can be quite severe in Mumbai, resulting in time wasted in commuting, I prefer a place like Andheri, which is centrally located.
I hope that Budget 2018 provides for some reduction in the stamp duty rates. Also, home loan rates, at around 8.25 per cent, are still high and I hope it comes down further. The budget should also allocate more funds for the improvement of basic infrastructure in Mumbai. After demonetisation, I had expected the property rates to reduce. However, I do not think this has happened, as sellers have not reduced prices.
I hope the budget makes the home buying process simpler and registration of properties become smoother, faster and easier.
Mayur U Bhat
Brand strategist and co-founder of a marketing company, Bengaluru
There are no subsidies for people buying houses that cost more than Rs 50 lakhs. To encourage young people to own houses, the government should provide benefits for first-time home buyers, while also being more reasonable with the price limits.
Environment sensitive buildings are the need of the hour. I was hoping to buy a green home but the exorbitant rates have made me reconsider this decision. Incentives or subsidies for green homes, would encourage more builders to construct eco-friendly properties.
I am looking to buy a 3-BHK apartment in Bengaluru, in areas like Horamavu, HRBR Layout or even Whitefield, for which I will take some home loan. Presently, under-construction properties attract a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 12 per cent, which is significantly higher than the previous taxes.
Although ready-to-move-in properties are not liable for GST, the cost of the house itself is quite high. So, the advantage of buying an under-construction house is lost, due to the additional 12 per cent GST. In the upcoming budget, the government should strive to make the GST a tax-neutral proposition, so as to help in reviving demand, as the real estate sector has been struggling for some time now.
The Finance Act of 2017, restricted the loss from house property, which could be set off against other salary, to Rs two lakhs. The government should increase this housing loss set-off limit, as it will allow tax payers to set off a larger part of the house property loss, against other income.
I am planning to invest in a project in Hyderabad, where I will get the possession of the property in four to five years. In case a person has taken a loan for an under-construction house and the construction is delayed beyond a period of five years, the interest deduction gets slashed to Rs 30,000, for no fault of the tax payer. Moreover, a buyer cannot claim exemption under Section 54/54F, if he gets the possession of the new house after three years. So, the budget should provide some increase in the time period, to make it easier for tax payers to avail of the exemptions under Section 54/54F.
Lead consultant – IT sector, Mumbai
I am looking to buy my first home, on the outskirts of Mumbai, between Nerul and Ulwe, as this region is affordable, compared to Mumbai city. I hope that Budget 2018 has some allocation, to improve infrastructure in this area. Tax exemption limits should also be increased, so as to incentivise first-time home buyers.
Section 80EE of the Income Tax Act, provided an additional deduction of Rs 50,000 for first-time home purchasers, whose loan was authorised during the period April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. This advantage should be extended beyond March 31, 2017. To avail of this deduction, the value of the property should not to be more than Rs 50 lakhs, independent of the size and area of the house. However, in the city, property costs are higher than this limit. Thus, a person who purchases a house in the city, does not get any profit from this segment. I hope this situation changes.
Senior manager in a multi-national company, Vashi, Navi Mumbai
The finance minister should look into the GST rate on real estate. Presently, the GST rate is 12 per cent, on under-construction properties. This should be brought down to five per cent, as stamp duty is still applicable, which increases the costs for the consumer. Alternatively, state governments should eliminate stamp duty or align it with the GST rates. While the demand for housing in India is very high, prices are sky-high and so, individuals are prefer to stay on rent rather than buying a house. The centre should try to come up with some mechanism to standardise the rates in each area.
I am planning to buy a house in Navi Mumbai, as its affordable compared to Mumbai and has ample greenery. The railway authorities should improve services on the Harbour Line and consider the feasibility of running fast trains between Vashi and Panvel, as it is difficult for commuters to board the trains during peak hours. Moreover, Navi Mumbai lacks smooth connectivity with the existing commercial hubs in Greater Mumbai.
Hence, I hope that the budget focuses on better transport facilities in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai.