Account director, Mumbai
I have purchased a property in Jaypee Krescent homes, Noida, for which I opted for a home loan. I am disappointed with this budget, as there is no change in home loan exemption limits. Overall, it was a people’s budget. I felt that the budget was neutral and election-oriented.
As per the budget, the rural economy, infrastructure, education and employment, would be the focus areas for 2019. The government has taken several steps to give a boost to affordable housing and also to make housing affordable for the common people. Its ‘Housing for All by 2022’ mission, along with the credit-linked subsidy scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is targeted towards this. The decision to fully exempt tax for Individuals, up to Rs five lakhs (effectively Rs 6.5 lakhs with investment deductions) is a good step and positive for first-time home buyers. Along with deductions available on home loans, NPS, education loans and medical insurance, it will provide more money in the hands of the middle-class tax payers.
Entrepreneur hotelier, Pune
I have been residing in Pune’s, Paud Road for almost two decades and the metro work in the area is in full swing. India is set to become a USD five trillion economy in the next five years, which makes the country the fastest-growing major economy in the world.
While the infrastructure is getting better, I was hoping for some relaxation in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for under-construction properties, to at least six per cent. I am planning to buy a property soon in Pune and the status quo on GST disappoints me. Affordable housing projects registered up to 2020, have been tax exempted under 80 IB-A. This one-year exemption will benefit new projects. The one-time benefit of rollover of capital gains, under Section 54 of the Income Tax Act, to two residential houses, from the earlier investment in one house, for a tax payer having capital gains up to Rs two crores, is also a welcome move.
Researcher and entrepreneur, Pune
I am planning to buy a house in the Kharadi area of Pune. My office is at the World Trade Centre, which overlooks many upcoming residential towers – an indication of the transformation that the area is going through. In this budget, infrastructure has been given a major push, through increase in spending on airports, railways, etc. The development of roads and infrastructure over the last five years, in Pune, has been good and if the same continues, the improved increased connectivity will have a positive impact on real estate. Infrastructure is the mainstay of the country’s development and India has emerged as one of the fastest highway developers in the world. We hoped that there would be a reduction of the GST burden on home buyers but no announcement was made in this budget.
On the other hand, there will be no TDS on house rents up to Rs 2.4 lakhs, from the previous limit of Rs. 1.8 lakhs. This can appeal to investors to buy second homes for rental income.
Founder-director of a communications agency, Mumbai
The real estate sector is stuck-up and there has been no movement over the past two years. Property rates in Mumbai keep increasing and it is tough for a home buyer. Many flats are empty and we have seen the slowdown but still, rates have not reduced. Recently, I bought a flat in Mira Road, for which I paid 12 per cent GST, as well as stamp duty and registration charges, which was too much. Clarity on GST rates still remains elusive, as the council will appoint a group of ministers to give their recommendations. The common man, especially in metropolitan cities, will be very happy, if the government reduces GST. Also, interest on home loan has not been reduced. I had brought a property in April 2018, when the interest rate was 8.5 per cent and now, I am paying 9.7 per cent. So, I am not very happy with this budget. Currently, capital gains on selling one property can be saved, if the amount is invested in another house property. The same being extended to two house properties, would be beneficial for big families and also for affordable housing.
Budget 2019 has neither made me happy nor sad. It was as I expected – an election-friendly budget, with focus on farmers and rural areas. Starting off, one good thing for the middle-class in this budget, is the removal of notional rent on second self-occupied house and no TDS (tax deducted at source) on house rent of up to Rs 2.4 lakhs. I had high expectations that the GST rate for real estate would reduce from the current 12 per cent but this did not happen. Nevertheless, there is hope, as the finance minister has given an assurance that a group of ministers has been formed to look into this. I have recently bought a property in Palava and am repaying a home loan for the same. What gives me some cheer, is the boost in infrastructure – development of roads, railways, airports, urban transport and inland waterways, will help connectivity and hopefully, make commuting easy, in various places in India.