Lower GST will lead to greater alignment in real estate: SBI Chairman

Lower GST will lead to greater alignment in real estate: SBI Chairman

A lowering of goods and services tax for under-construction houses would bring about greater alignment in the real estate sector, said SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar.

In an exclusive interview with ETNow, the SBI chief said: “GST on non-affordable housing rate may fall to 5 percent and that of affordable housing to 3 percent. The move will bring alignment in the real estate sector.”

His remarks come against the backdrop of a panel, headed by Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, favoring a cut in GST on under-construction residential properties to 5 percent, from 12 percent currently. In its first meeting, the group of ministers (GoM) also pitched for slashing GST on affordable housing from 8 percent to 3 percent.

The GoM was set up last month to examine tax rates and issues and challenges being faced by the real estate sector under the GST regime.

The Chairman of the largest state-owned bank hoped that any such decision by the GST Council in its next meeting will lead to faster clearance of houses.

A build-up in inventory and subdued prices have long been a pain for the realty industry. Reflecting the state of affairs, industry body Credai said people are postponing their decisions to buy under-construction flats because of high GST rate of 12 percent and 8 percent on affordable homes.

About RBI’s recent surprise policy move to slash benchmark lending rate in a bid to boost lending and lift economic growth, Kumar said the benefit will be passed on to borrowers “if our marginal cost of funding comes down”.

Bankers are reluctant to pass on all of 25 basis point rate cut because of loads of bad loans and the high cost of deposits, according to Reuters. For the banks, any cut in loan rates will have to be accompanied by a corresponding fall in deposit rates, which is linked to a significant improvement in cash conditions.

Banks price their benchmark loan rates, known as the marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR), mainly based on the cost of deposits.

Source: Economic Times

Studio apartments: Easy on pocket, low on maintenance

Studio apartments: Easy on pocket, low on maintenance

Chennai

Changing tastes and preferences have led to a demand for studio apartments over the years in many parts of the city.

In the last decades, the demography of Chennai has changed drastically. There has been a steady inflow of population into the city from different parts of the country. Many of these new generation professionals are looking forward to buying their own home within the first few years of their first job. This has led to a demand for studio apartments, which comprise all the elements of a home in a single room.

Right from low cost to low maintenance, the advantages of a studio apartment are many and are preferred by bachelors and travelling executives alike. Ravi, a city based realty expert says that these studio apartments are also being used as service apartments by the corporates. “Primarily, it catered to the needs of travelling executives posted in different cities. The professionals who have offsite assignments always tend to invest in studio apartments if they are offered by the developers, which gives them flexibility to travel during a shortterm assignment.”

Often termed as one room-kitchen apartment, these apartments have an attached bathroom and have an area range of 200 to 450 sqft. A studio apartment, also known as a studio flat or self-contained apartment, efficiency apartment or bachelor apartment, is a small apartment which combines living room, bedroom, and kitchenette into a single room. It is apt for a small family area ranging around 200 to maximum up to 450 square feet. Studio apartments are the entry level in the housing spectrum and are priced between ’25 to ’30 lakh.

Prices do play an important role; if the pricing is high then the buyer would opt for a compact two-BHK apartment instead of a studio apartment. Chennai being a conservative market, the design is slightly tweaked to accommodate a separate bedroom.

Arun Nair, a marketing representative, who moved into a studio apartment two years back maintains that price was the deciding factor. He says, “The cost played a key role and getting the best deal in the heart of the city is tough. I wanted a studio apartment as it provides you a compact space which is easy to maintain and clean. Also, studio apartments are always a good option for bachelors because of the low maintenance and cost factor.”

The demand for studio apartments is big among business executives. Ravi adds, “The demand for studio apartments has been growing consistently over the last few years and this demand is here to stay. With large companies setting up their units in Chennai and emergence of IT-space, we are looking at serious numbers required in the coming years.”

Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Fancy painting the walls of your house and making it a fun family activity

Wall to action

Chennai

Fancy painting the walls of your house yourself and making it a fun family activity? We tell you how you can achieve just that.

Movies have a way of making us wish we were a part of it. Everyday mundane events are portrayed so well in movies that we wish our usual routine was half as fun as them. A scene where the protagonist is moving into a new home is often glamourised with a happy song set to a montage of happy things; tasks like colouring your home also seem like a cakewalk. Don’t we all want to have a fun weekend painting a statement wall with friends, just the way Ranbir Kapoor and Konkana Sen Sharma did in Wake up Sid? It’s not entirely unachievable after all.

Gather your friends, order in some pizza and follow the steps given below to get a new look for your home.

Hemil Parikh, Founder, Elysium Abodes LLP, provides us with a step-by-step guide on how to paint your home yourself:

Steps:

1. Find out what kind of paint is currently on your wall. You will have to apply the same type of paint when you are colouring it. If you wish to apply a different type of paint, then first sand and remove the current paint and then continue with the new;

2. Move the furniture away from the walls. You should ideally move them to the other room or gather them in the centre of the room you are painting. Cover your furniture as well as your floor to avoid getting any paint on them;

3. Clean the walls by using large cellulose sponge and a water solution blended with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid;

4. Ensure that you have thoroughly cleaned the wall to wipe out any kind of dirt or grease. Always check whether the previous paint is removed in order to avoid chalking / flaking of paint;

5. Make sure you do appropriate sanding of the wall with emery paper, so that you have a smooth surface to receive the paint;

6. Keep all your supplies and tools handy. You will need rollers, paint brushes, a spare apron (to prevent stains on your clothes) and a canvas cloth. Include a mask, which will prevent you from inhaling the strong odour from paint;

7. Using a blue painter’s tape, safeguard all the areas that you do not wish to paint. Door knobs, window and door frames, mouldings etc should be covered with the tape;

8. Dip the roller into the primer; slowly roll it back and forth across the ridges of the tray a couple of times in order to eliminate the excess colour and to prevent drips. Once the roller is evenly coated, run it up and down on the wall section. Apply primer evenly on the wall;

9. After the primer coat, it is time for the actual paint, which should be done over two-three coats depending upon the finish to be achieved. It is advisable to keep a plucker handy in order to remove any sediment / flying dust that might settle on the wet paint. It is advisable to check the walls under proper light before the application of the top coat in order to achieve the optimum finish;

10. Use the brushes along the edges and corner while you can use the rollers to paint the wall;

11. Check if the wall is painted evenly and if the finish is fine;

12. Allow it to dry;

13. An important tip for users to follow is to ensure they peel off the tape while the paint is still wet to avert accidentally eliminating any dried paint along with it;

14. And there you have just painted your own home! Step back and enjoy the moment.

Pooja Mahimkar, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Points to consider before investing in a villa

Points to consider before investing in a villa

Chennai

An independent house was what K Sathya Anand was looking for, and hence the villa at Thalambur was his best option.

There are many points to be considered before investing in a house. There is no rulebook dictating these guidelines since it will vary according to the personal choices of a person. For example, a person who loves the company of neighbours and prefers the amenities, which are provided within various apartment complexes, would choose to buy a flat that is located in a building, among other houses.

But for some, like K Sathya Anand, the Vice-President of a global financial technology company, it is essential to have some space around the house. He was not too comfortable with living in an apartment, in a building. So he opted to buy an independent home in Navalur.

He purchased a villa in Thalambur, in December 2017. “We wanted to live in a place that was not too cramped. And we wanted a good amount of space around it, and that’s why this villa perfectly fit the bill. Both, my children and parents now have enough space. Kids have the space to play. The house is well ventilated and well-lit. All these were driving factors behind the investment,” he says.

He wanted to buy a house in a place where there was no water logging. He also ensured that the roads in the particular area were wide. “Besides, this place is a serene spot. There is so much of green cover in the neighbourhood,” he adds.

The 4-BHK house costs approximately Rs 4,000 per sqft. He believes that the decision to buy a home should be well-thought and people should not rush to purchase a property. He advises, “Check and assess your finances, only then purchase a house. Have some savings left in the bank and do not put all your money in one place.”

Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Plot summary: Constructing your own house

Plot summary: Constructing your own house

Chennai

V S Rajasekaran talks about how buying a plot near Medavakkam in 1994 and building a house on it, has benefitted him.

While buyers today mostly have the option of apartments or villa to choose from, not many will have the luxury of choosing a plot to build their house upon. But for those who bought homes in Chennai a few decades back, they had the option of buying an empty land and constructing their house on it.

V S Rajasekaran, a government employee, is one among those who bought a plot. “I bought a 2,178 square feet of land near Medavakkam, in 1994. And in 1995, we constructed a 2-BHK house there and moved into it. We have been living there ever since,” he says. The fear of buying a plot or its encroachment always existed. Recounting this struggle, he further adds, “We ensured that the land came with proper patta (legal document for land ownership). Besides, we immediately started construction, which also helped. So, there was no fear.”

Having lived in Chintadripet, as a tenant in a rented house, he was glad to have moved into his own independent house. Medavakkam was far away from the bustle of the city. “It was considered a back of beyond area. There was just one bus-51H, which would ply between Saidapet and Tambaram, which would stop at a bus stop in Medavakkam. Travelling to other parts of the city was difficult. Thankfully, there are innumerable buses today, which help the residents here commute to many parts of Chennai. Also, there are good amenities that have come up in the area, like good hospitals, schools and shopping malls,” he says.

The plot and the construction together did not exceed Rs 3 lakh. Overall, he is glad to have made the investment.

Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Imported sand from Malaysia selling briskly in Tamil Nadu

Imported sand from Malaysia selling briskly in Tamil Nadu

Chennai

River sand imported by the state government from Malaysia is selling briskly at the Ennore Port, with 30% of the stock being sold in two weeks. In the wake of rising demand for the construction material, the government has placed an order for a second consignment from the Southeast Asian nation.

Officials at the Kamarajar Port at Ennore said about 15,000 tonnes of river sand had been sold. The sand has been stocked at the port premises where lorry operators who have made bookings arrive to take the loads.

“About 50,000 tonnes of sand have been imported from Malaysia. The number of trucks transporting sand from the port has increased in the last three days,” a port official said.

While 195 lorries carried nearly 460 units of sand on October 19, 182 trucks ferried sand out of the port. On an average, about 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes of sand are being sold per day. “If the sale continues at the same pace, the sand will get exhausted in the next 20 days,” the port official added.

The Public Works Department (PWD) has fixed a price of Rs 10,350 per unit of imported sand weighing 4.5 tonnes.

Apart from sand lorry owners, members of the public can also purchase sand through the web portal of the PWD’s sand operation wing.

Tamil Nadu State Sand Lorry Owner’s Federation S Yuvaraj said the market for river sand sourced from abroad is growing in the city. “There is a strong demand for such sand. The waiting period for getting the imported river sand is just one day,” he said. While the state government’s first consignment of imported sand arrived at the Ennore Port on September 23, the distribution was kick-started on October 8.

PWD officials said around 225 to 275 bookings are made every day to buy the imported sand. “The order for the next consignment of river sand has been made,” a senior PWD official told TOI, adding that it was expected to arrive at the port from Malaysia in the next two to three weeks.

Yogesh Kabirdoss, Economic Times, Chennai

South Chennai is hub of property fraud in city

South Chennai is hub of property fraud in city

Chennai

South Chennai accounts for the highest number of fake property registrations in Chennai zone, with forged Power of Attorney (PoA) topping the list of documents used for the scam. North Chennai is in second place followed by the southern suburbs falling under the  Chengalpet district registrar’s office.

Data accessed by TOI shows that sub-registrar offices in South Chennai had recorded 500 fraudulent registrations over 20 years. A total of 165 petitions on fraudulent land registrations were reported in North Chennai, followed by 117 at Chengalpet, 73 at Kancheepuram and 66 in Central Chennai district registrar offices.

“PoAs make up the largest proportion of forged documents used in land registrations. Bogus legal heir certificates, fake pattas and forged identity cards are the other documents used for this purpose,” a senior registration official told TOI.

In one such case two months ago, the Central Crime Branch police registered an FIR, with the subregistrar of Madhavaram as an accused for creating a fake PoA to sell a plot worth ?4 crore by forging the identity card of a person born in the city, who currently lives in Australia.

Officials said sub-registrar offices in southern pockets of the city have always been on the radar for fraudulent registrations. “About three years ago, a popular layout promoter lodged a complaint that his housing plot falling under the Neelangarai sub-registrar office has been sold using a fake PoA. Further inquiries revealed that the plot was sold to a leading jewellery shop owner in the city, who told us that he was unaware of the forgery,” another registration official said. Housing plots in subregistrar offices under the ambit of Tiruporur sub-registrar office that have not recorded any transaction for a number of years are also vulnerable to such frauds, added the official.

Complaints on fraudulent registrations started pouring in at the registration department after district registrars were given the powers to cancel them in 2011.

However, the powers were withdrawn in 2017 in the wake of a Supreme Court order, which categorically asserted that only civil courts have the authority to declare such registrations null and void.

Later, the office of the inspector of registrations began a review of these complaints filed with the respective district registrars across nine zones in Tamil Nadu.

The Chennai zone comprises 64 sub-registrar offices located in different parts of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, which are functioning under north, central and south Chennai, besides Chengalpet and Kancheepuram district registrars.

“The menace of impersonation and fraudulent registration of properties will end only if Aadhaar is made mandatory,” a top registration official said. Last week, the state government notified the Tamil Nadu Registration (Identity Verification for the Registration of Documents) Rules, 2018 of the Registration Act, 1908, allowing authentication using Aadhaar details obtained from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) with a rider that it should be with the consent of the individuals concerned.

Yogesh Kabirdoss, Economic Times, Chennai

Tamil Nadu govt sets guidelines for officials in charge of property tax collection

Did you receive an SMS alert from Chennai corporation to make a self-declaration of your house/flat details for property tax purposes? This is part of a system put in place by the state to introduce a revised tax regime.

A detailed set of guidelines has been issued to commissioners of all local bodies on the preparation of a master list of properties and a time frame has been set to map them. At a meeting, officials were asked to first accumulate records of all properties available with housing society, housing board, slum clearance board, ration cards maintained by civil supplies department and other registers maintained by municipalities and corporations to verify omissions in assessment.

Officials are to cross-check records by going door-to-door and finally submit the verified data to seniors. Armed with this verified database, officials will ensure that residents file returns from October 20.

“Field staff will be deployed and 100% filing of returns must be ensured. The returns filed by the owners will be kept in safe custody with no room for tampering. Wherever returns could not be obtained before the due date, the property concerned should be inspected by the revenue staff and returns prepared and submitted to the office,” said a senior official.

Officials of the municipal administration department told TOI that all officials were informed of these guidelines and the deadline. “While everyone is aware that property tax has been revised, we wanted to create a system for officials to implement it which is why we came out with a set of guidelines for them,” said a senior official.

Source Komal Gautham, Economic Times, Chennai