GST Implications On Real Estate

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

The Goods and Services Tax (GST), is a kind of a comprehensive indirect tax on sale, manufacture and consumption of different kinds of goods and services throughout India, with all other Central and State taxes intended to be subsumed under it. If this happens, it has far-reaching implications, including on real estate.

Taxation and real estate industry

If we take a look at the real estate industry in India today, we find that there have been major tax changes in the last few years. However, these taxes are not uniform all over the country – different practices and regulations are followed in different states in India. It was the 46th Amendment to the Constitution that brought massive changes towards taxation in the real estate sector. Later in the following years, special powers were given to the State Government for implementing Value-Added Tax (VAT) on some specific kinds of transactions.

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For land, property and other kinds of work contracts, different kinds of taxes are levied by the State Government and the Central Government. The transactions are mainly categorized in three parts – value of services, value of goods and materials and value of land. VAT is applied by the State Government on the goods portion, while value of services is taxed by the Central Government. However, other than stamp duty, there is no clear tax on the transactions regarding value of land. This situation leads to confusion and can result in dual taxation. Compliance and implementation of such taxes also get difficult.

The real estate industry has justifiably been feeling jittery with such confusing tax implantations and calculations. For one real estate transaction, multiple taxes need to be paid and this has a negative effect on the industry. The industry’s demand to bring GST on board is primarily to get a clear and transparent taxation rule for the real estate sector in India.

Expected GST effects on the real estate industry in India

The implementation of GST can prove to be a significant step in reforming indirect taxation in India. Chances of double taxation would be diminished, as some of the Central and State Government taxes will be amalgamated into one tax. This will ease the process of taxation considerably, making its enforcement and administration easier and simpler.

Talking about the real estate industry in this context, there are many things which have to be known and understood. In the current situation, a builder or a real estate developer incurs various kinds of expenses during the construction phase of a project. Different kinds of taxes are involved with these expenses, such as VAT/CST, customs duties, service tax, excise duty and so on. Majority of these taxes are expenses that are included in the system. This is because they are not creditable to the developer or to the end-customer. These non-creditable expenses lead to tax inefficiency, which is not desirable.

One positive impact that might result from GST is doing away of restrictions on credit utilization. This will definitely help in strengthening the credit chain in the entire system. If property developers and builders can properly manage this aspect, they will see some profit.

It is expected that the proposed GST structure will have a progressive and streamlined approach. The tax compliance rules should not have any serious impact on real estate builders and developers. In present conditions, builders running projects in different states have to comply with State-specific VAT laws, as well as other kinds of service taxes. Bringing in GST will therefore not bring any additional compliance burden on real estate builders in the country.

Issues regarding GST which affect real estate builders

There are a few clarifications that might be sought for GST taxation by real estate developers. For instance, the definition of a real estate developer varies from one state to another in India. The composition scheme varies according to State, in which the VAT rates come between 1-5%. In some States, there are differences between the terms real estate contractors and real estate developers. It has to be understood what will the GST implications are if the terms have different meanings.

There might be some confusion regarding GST implementations on residential property, as well. In the present scenario, there is no service tax applicable on renting immovable property, particularly for residential purposes. But service tax and VAT is implemented on the construction work. The question that arises is if the proposed GST will offer differential tax for residential properties.

As of now, it does not look like completed residential projects will be affected by GST, as buyers into completed projects have already paid statutory charges such as stamp duty and registration charges on the transaction. The segments to watch on the GST front are under-construction flats and rental flats, which are expected to come under the ambit of GST. GST will apply to the materials that a developer procures for building a residential project, so there is a direct correlation to the overall cost of construction.

Much depends on what rate of GST will finally be confirmed. If it is more than the existing cumulative taxes currently in force, it means that the overall cost to consumers of buying an under-construction flat will increase along with the added cost of stamp duty and registration. At the same time, developers have to keep an eye on costing, as price competitiveness is very important in the current real estate market scenario.

About The Author:

Anil PharandeAnil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings. Woodsville in Moshi is another highly successful PCMC-based township by Pharande Spaces which is now in its 3rd phase.

Be A Smart Property Buyer With A Pre-approved Home Loan

Anil-Pharande

 

 

 Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

Home buyers, and especially first-time buyers, would like to be in the best position to make their purchase once they have identified their dream home. The most challenging aspect of home ownership is invariably financing. Questions like which lending institution to approach, what loans should be applied for, how much loan to be applied for and how much time will it take for approval need to be answered.

ApprovedStamp

The best ‘be prepared’ move on this front is to become pre-approved for a home loan. Doing so means that this tricky and time-consuming aspect of home purchase has already been dealt with, and that one can enter the market focused squarely on the best options. Getting pre-approved also puts you in the strongest possible place when it comes to negotiating the best deal.

 

What is the difference between loan pre-qualification and pre-approval?

Pre-qualification for a home loan is more or less like an educated estimate provided by the lending company. They will be letting you know the type of loan you could qualify for, and the maximum amount. The estimate is usually based on your financial history, loan eligibility and buying power. A pre-approval, on the other hand, is a written confirmation by the lender.

Before handing over the pre-approval certificate, loan officers will completely access your employment and remuneration information and do a complete ‘credit-worthiness’ check. This involves collecting all the data related to your past and current debts, repayment history, disposable income, credit card record, etc. and running it through software that will calculate whether you could be a likely candidate for approval.

How to secure a pre-approved home loan?

While seeking to become pre-approved, it is always best to approach a lending company that you know or can be referred to by a friend, colleague or family member. The lender needs have the assurance that you are a credible borrower. However, do not stop searching after you have met the first possible lender.

Ask around and look for the lending institutions that that provide the most competitive interest rates and are known for their helpful customer service. The loan officer from the identified lending institute will then pay you a visit and help you streamline your financial statements so that you become ready to discuss your bank statements, investments, holdings, salary slips, income tax returns and other information related to your finances. This basically starts the process which will end with you becoming a pre-approved borrower.

What good will a letter of pre-approval do?

Firstly, a pre-approval letter lets you know the exact budget range you should be searching in. This helps you stay in sync with your financial reality and keeps you from allowing your focus to stray to properties that you cannot afford. Secondly, having a pre-approval letter means that you can grab an offer immediately when it comes across and is in your budget range.

The letter states that the finances are ready when you choose to ask for them. Important Note: it is highly advisable to work with lenders who have the ability to provide customized pre-approval letters, inclusive of the maximum purchase price. Sellers could get greedy if they see a greater loan amount than their quote.

Getting pre-approved for a home loan is a crucial step that can put you in the best possible position in the home buying process. It will give you both peace of mind and keep you focused on what what to look for and what to avoid in terms of affordability.

About The Author:

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran.

Gudi Padwa: The Festival of Renewal and Property Investment

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

India is a country of myriad traditions and festivals that are not only times of celebration but in many cases also major investment decisions. As a result, many market segments are also aligned to these periods. The Gudi Padwa festive season is among the periods of intense real estate market activity, because this period is traditionally seen as one of renewal and forward planning.

Gudi Padwa is a celebration of the coming of spring, during which nature once again delivers its gift of abundance after the largely barren winter months. In fact, this period is celebrated by almost every culture in the world in some form or the other. But probably nowhere with as much joy and fervour as in India, which is a country with very strong agrarian roots. It is no accident that Gudi Padwa coincides with many festivals all over India, from Baisakhi in Punjab, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Yugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Vishu in Kerala.

The cross-linkage of Gudi Padwa with real estate purchase is by no means a latter-day phenomenon – this trend has been in evidence since historical times. India is a country where certain times of the year as seen as very auspicious for any activity related to investment and wealth creation. A self-owned home is the biggest and most important investment for most Indian families, and the Gudi Padwa festive period invariably sees significantly increased property purchase activity.

This year, Gudi Padwa coincides with many other favourable market dynamics. Very much in keeping with the spirit of spring which Gudi Padwa celebrates, India has emerged from a prolonged period of political uncertainty and economic doldrums. A strong and resolute government has taken charge, and the Indian economy is visibly reviving. Across the country, Indians have put job insecurity and indecisiveness about their future goals behind them. However, the property market has not yet picked up concurrent pace, resulting in a very favourable scenario for home seekers this Gudi Padwa.

Depending on how the property market is behaving, developers roll out various offers and incentives to encourage buyers during the Gudi Padwa season. This year, such offers are going to be plentiful, but a more important dynamic we will see is that many developers who had refrained from lowering their rates may do so selectively this year under the guise of festival discounts. Without a doubt, the tradition-fuelled upswing in buyer sentiments must be harnessed during Gudi Padwa.

More than ever, home seekers intent on making their purchase this Gudi Padwa need to be guided by the right fundamentals. It is important to understand that when it comes to freebies and offers, the real estate market is no different from any other kind of market – an attractive offer only makes sense if it is attached to the right product. Considering the magnitude of investment one makes into a home – and also the purpose of this investment – it is very important to ensure that one is buying what one really wants and needs.

One of the best ways to maintain a clear focus while buying a home in a festive season is to make a list of the merits and demerits of every option one has short-listed first. Given the specific nature of home purchase, sufficient weightage must be given to location, the reputation of the developer, the facilities and amenities available, and of course overall value for money. If all these check out positively and are backed by an attractive offer or discount, one is on the way to making a good choice.

About The Author:

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran.

The Value Proposition Of Large Vs. Small Flats In Pune

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande

Over the last couple of years, I have been observing with concern the decreasing size of flats on the Pune real estate market. Of course, it is the demand for smaller flats that is driving this kind of supply.

With housing prices in the Pune Municipal Corporation rising relentlessly, the ‘biggest’ opportunity that developers perceive is in smaller flats that get sold in the shortest possible time. This kind of supply is aimed at first-time home buyers who either have limited budgets or low financial confidence.

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Smaller Flats – Pricing Trap

Though these are supposed to be ‘affordable homes’, the pricing of these units is actually on the higher side. They sell because the prices are still lower than those of larger flats, but the buyers are actually paying an excessive unit cost.

The reason for this disparity is that the ‘pigeon holes’ housing model itself has some inherent flaws built into it. To begin with, the share of common area that needs to allocated in a project that consists of only of small-sized homes means that the project loses in terms of overall efficiency and sale-able area. This results in lower revenue potential, so developers bump up their prices to compensate.

Secondly, the cost of construction depends on the quantity of raw materials being used. When a developer is building a project which comprises exclusively of small units, his development costs actually go up because every unit needs to be provided with separate fittings, appliances and finishes.

As a result, he will increase his prices to make up for the loss in profitability.

Home buyers should be aware that the converse is equally true. In a project with larger units, developers save on costs because of more efficient common space utilization and lower consumption of fittings, appliances and finishes for individual units.

Better Common Amenities

This is why a 1 BHK is often only 30-35% less expensive than a 2 BHK. The bottom line is that by opting for larger flats, property buyers are getting more value for their money.

Also, projects comprising of larger flats tend to have better common amenities, which the developer can maximize the overall livability and therefore attractiveness of the project rather than needing to focus on making as many units as possible within the available space.

The obvious question that follows is – where can middle class home buyers from Pune find larger flats that fall within their budgets? The answer is – in the developing (rather than expensive over-developed) parts of the city.

For example, West Pune is a corridor where hundreds of property buyers are still able to find true value for their money.

Property rates in many of the the areas of PCMC are lower than the inner localitions of the Pune Municipal Corporation, which means that buyers can get the benefits of larger flats with better amenities there.

With the vastly improved road connectivity, the newer areas of West Pune close to Hinjewadi and the MIDC are now becoming the destinations most favoured by home buyers working in these employment catchments.

About The Author:

Anil Pharande Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces, an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a mixed bag of products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. Puneville in West Pune’s Punawale is the latest integrated township project by Pharande Spaces

 

Pune Real Estate – The Importance Of Green Cover In Residential Zones

It is generally known that abundant urban green spaces – large areas allocated to trees, lawns and all types of flora and fauna – are a major contributor to high quality living environment. Sufficient green spaces in cities improve the quality of the air in residential areas because trees absorb pollutants such as ozone, nitric acid vapour, ammonia, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide. In turn, they provide life-giving oxygen, provide shade, attract rain and improve the aesthetic quality of the whole area.

environment

In its heyday, Pune was renowned for its generous urban green spaces. Unfortunately, the hammer of commercialized real estate proliferation has caused most of the city’s green cover to vanish. Coupled with the massive traffic movement within the PMC limits, it is not surprising that so many Punekars now suffer from various ‘mysterious’ ailments. High blood pressure, asthma, bronchitis, energy depletion and depression are rapidly becoming common-place. The city that once rivaled Bangalore with its generous urban green spaces is now literally oxygen starved.

When the PCNTDA (Pimpri Chinchwad New Town Development Authority) set out to plan the residential zones in Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation – Pune’s prosperous sister city – the vital factor of green cover was a main priority. Not many are aware of how much thought went into the real estate blueprint for Pimpri-Chinchwad, which is now a masterpiece of systematic residential zone development. Thanks to close collaboration with healthcare officials, construction and civil engineering agencies and the town planning authorities ensured that PCMC would remain a predominantly green zone. The rationale was based on firm scientific facts:

  • People who live in residential zones with abundant green cover suffer fewer health problems and experience lower stress levels
  • The survival rate of senior citizens who spend their Golden Years in green surroundings is far higher than that of their contemporaries living in the concrete jungles of the inner city
  • Green cover in a residential zone encourages its residents to spend more time outdoors and show lower preference to an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle
  • The happiness level and mental/emotional health quotient of any residential community is directly related to the extent to which individuals socialize. The availability of green areas such as parks, gardens and lawns encourages more inter-personal contact between residents

By now, social scientists know for a fact that urban green spaces tend to attracts people outside their homes and to interact with each other. Parks and gardens are places where people can meet and spend time together in the outdoors. People who have access to green spaces in cities like Pune enjoy a higher level of social activity, tend to know their neighbours and are more concerned about the general welfare of the community.

Despite the rapid depletion of urban green spaces within the Pune Municipal Limits, Pimpri-Chinchwad offers the citizens of Pune the option of green living. The verdant residential townships in localities like Ravet and Moshi have been designed in complete compliance to the PCNTDA guidelines for green spaces within PCMC residential zones. At the same time, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation offers to them vastly superior civic and social infrastructure and significantly lower property rates.

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

Affordable Housing In India – Where Is The Supply?

Affordable housing is a term we use for residential units in India’s urban areas which are affordably priced with respect to households that fall within a specific limited income range. There is no single set of parameters to define what an affordable housing unit should cost in India. This is because the pricing and feasibility to developers of affordable housing is a function of the city, location within the city, type of project being built and also the construction technology employed.

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In India, it is appropriate to judge the affordability of a home on three broad parameters – the monthly income of prospective buyers from the target segment, the size of the home and, of course, its price. There is another element that should be mentioned, namely the target clientele itself. We tend to look at the word ‘affordable’ solely in terms of the LIG (lower income group) segment. For this segment, affordable housing would mean 200-300 square foot dwellings priced at between 7-12 lakh.

But what about people who earn more than the average factory labourer but still cannot afford to buy a decent 1 BHK flat of 300-450 square feet within ten to fifteen kilometers of their workplaces? They too need affordable housing – housing appropriately priced for the middle class. The home buyers in this segment can afford to buy flats in the price range of Rs. 30-35 lakh via home loans.

Obviously, they expect a certain standard of living, comforts and facilities for this expense. However, but even such flats are hard to come by in our larger cities. This is the case even in Pune.

Today, around 30% of India’s population lives and works in urban areas. This means that they occupy less than 2% of the land available in the country. If we zoom in on Maharashtra, it emerges that close to 60% of the overall population lives in urban locations. Distressingly, a closer look at a city like Mumbai reveals that over 50% of its citizens live in slums. Mumbai’s slums occupy less than 4% of the land available in the city. Obviously, the affordable housing quotient has gone badly wrong in Pune’s prosperous neighbouring city. However, the problem is larger than just one city, which continues to get negative press only because of its exorbitantly high property rates and enormous annual inward migration.

Despite everything being said on the matter, the shortage of affordable housing in India is getting worse instead of better. The country’s urban population of 285 million has multiplied itself by five over the last half century. It is projected that it will continue to increase at this fast pace, and that 50% of all Indians will be living in urban areas by the end of the next three decades. So, if the shortage for housing for the lower income segment stands at 25 million today and there is no increase in the pace of supply of affordable housing launches, what will this figure look like in 30 years?

Let us look at the situation from a real estate market point of view. There is, in fact, a gigantic market for affordable housing in India. Currently, it is valued at anything between Rs. 5-10 trillion. What is really being done to address this huge market – especially the one constituted by the ever-growing middle class? There are next to no Government incentives for projects with flats in the Rs. 30-35 lakh bracket.

While the only answers to this question in Mumbai seem to lie in small projects on the far outskirts of the city, Pune presents a far more encouraging picture. Developers of township properties in Pune have now begun addressing this market with an internationally inspired property development model called integrated townships. This model is based on maximum value for money to buyers, based on high-grade common infrastructure and shared facilities in more cost-effective, yet progressive areas like the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.

With fully integrated township projects like Woodsville and Celestial City, we at Pharande Spaces have been successful in delivering affordable housing for the mid-income segment of home buyers in Pune and the PCMC area.  There are various reasons for this success.

For one, land for these integrated townships was acquired early on in upcoming locations such as Ravet and Moshi. This meant that the price of the finished products could be kept within the means of Pune property buyers. Secondly, townships like Woodsville and Celestial City are conceived and constructed on a model that allows luxurious facilities and amenities on an economy of scale. In other words, it is possible to provide luxurious features for all units in these projects on the basis of a large-scale master plan.

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande is Vice President – CREDAI (Pune Metro) and Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

PCNTDA Turned PCMC Into The Hottest Real Estate Destination In Maharashtra

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Pimpri Chinchwad is now Pune’s new hotbed for affordable residential property. In fact, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is one’s of India’s most resounding real estate success stories. PCMC is a planned city, and its development profile has nothing in common with what is happening in the Pune Municipal Corporation limits.

Pune Property

Thanks to the unflagging efforts of the Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA), PCMC is now a showcase of outstanding residential areas. The PCNTDA has been vigilant in defending this showcase sister city of Pune from the central city’s unregulated real estate development pattern. One of the hallmarks of this careful town planning is the availability of affordable township properties, which are the best examples of the masterfully planned social, economic and real estate development in Maharashtra.

Those who have never seen PCMC before are amazed at the futuristic look of this progressive city. When it comes to urban planning, the PCNTDA has gone several steps further than CIDCO of Navi Mumbai. Navi Mumbai was Maharashtra’s first planned city, and it certainly began on a good note. However, lack of vigilance by the town planning authorities there soon caused it to fall prey to commercialization. Charles Courier’s initial blueprint was son abandoned, and today Navi Mumbai has become just another extended suburb of unregulated Mumbai.

In Pimpri Chinchwad, however, the PCNTDA was determined to avoid the mistakes which caused the real estate market in Navi Mumbai to degenerate. The blueprint which was adopted was one of uncompromisingly regulated real estate growth, and organized urban planning was the constant watchword. Keeping its focus firmly on the long-term objectives of rational real estate development, the PCNTDA has managed to turn PCMC into a genuine city of the future.

Residents of township properties in PCMC have the unique advantage of owning homes which are near to their workplaces, yet affordable and blessed with green natural surroundings. They live high quality lifestyles and do not have to sacrifice their family’s health to the pollution which defines the inner city. On an average, township property owners is the PCMC spend upto 35% more time with their families than Pune residents, and have up to 40% more living space at the same cost.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is truly a prime example of social-minded real estate development. Only here will one find spacious properties at affordable prices, coupled with a modern and efficient transportation system. Only here can one find a multitude of employment opportunities, superior infrastructure and modern, yet very affordable homes close to one’s place of work. And only in the PCMC can one enjoy the benefits of carefully preserved natural splendour.

Thanks to the approach taken by the PCNTDA, the PCMC property market is today seen as the smartest option for residential property buyers from Pune and beyond. Yearly inward migration figures clearly indicate that this city is indeed growing rapidly. The year-on-year appreciation rates of residential property in the PCMC range between 15-20%, and this has also attracted property investors from all over Maharashtra.

Anil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

Pune Real Estate: From Kothrud To Wakad – And Beyond

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

In Pune, property and quality of life were once synonymous, but that can no longer be taken as a given. In earlier years, it did not really matter much where one chose to buy property in Pune – all locations were more or less supportive of peaceful family life in their own right.

Today, while considering flats for sale in Pune, one has to consider a number of variables – among them the levels of traffic congestion and pollution, the availability of basic facilities such as water and, of course, quality of the neighborhood.

Let us take Kothrud, for example. This once charming area was one of the first suburbs to be developed after the old city. Even today, it is considered a desirable core area due to its strong connection with the city centre via Karve Road. However, for better or for worse, Kothrud is also mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as the suburb with the fastest urban growth in the world.

Kothrud started developing in late 90s. Back then, Pune City was truly a Pensioner’s Paradise, with little economic activity. People from Mumbai looking to buy property in Pune preferred Kothrud, naturally leading to an accelerated rate of development.

By the time the IT/ITES boom began in 2000-02, Kothrud was a full-fledged residential destination. Because of this, it fortunately did not go the way of suburbs like Aundh and Baner in the West or Viman Nagar in the East as they joined the IT/ITES bandwagon.

Over the past decade-and-a-half, Kothrud has evolved as one of the most densely populated residential destination in Pune. Residential projects are very scarce and the demand is enormous. However, because of the manner in which it grew, Kothrud was not developed holistically in terms of social infrastructure.

Many other areas in Pune developed on similar lines, and the old Pensioner’s Paradise charm soon gave way to massive, relentless development. This began the hunt for less cluttered and more lifestyle-supportive residential locations.

Pune Property

Fortunately, Pune is not a sea-locked city like Mumbai, and there was scope for looking further ahead. One of the first areas to emerge as a preferred area to settle down was Wakad – a once-nondescript village with 5000 locals who farmed sugarcane, onion and groundnut in its rich, black, fertile soil.

In 1983, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) acquired 50% of this virgin location. By 1998, PCMC counted Wakad as one of its areas. Today, Wakad has emerged as the focus of younger, financially fit families that are looking to upgrade their lifestyle by moving to larger, more nature-endowed homes on the outskirts of Pune City.

With the increasing congestion of the previously preferred area of Aundh, neighboring Wakad was seen as the perfect location, with close proximity to the Infotech and Biotech Parks at Hinjewadi, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Industrial area, the Mumbai-Bangalore Bypass, the Super Express Highway to Mumbai and the Balewadi National Sports complex.  Thanks to the Expressway, Wakad is only about 80 to 90 minutes away from Mumbai, and Mumbaikars looking to buy property in Pune saw it as an excellent value proposition.

Of course, Wakad is just one of the chapters that the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has in its book of Pune real estate successes. Today, Ravet and other sectors of Pradhikaran in the PCMC have become the new residential real estate watchwords in Pune. These areas are developing fast and are even now venues of extremely modern integrated residential projects.

However, the development of Wakad marked the beginning of a new residential real estate trend in Pune – the quest for better environments to settle down in and recapture some of Pune’s erstwhile glory as Queen of the Deccan.

Anil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

What Pune Real Estate Needs From Budget 2012-13

The 2011-12 budget did not offer much to the Pune real estate sector, and neither home buyers nor developers has any reason to feel enthusiastic. At the time when the Budget for 2012-13 is about to be announced, the city continues to face problems because of such industry hurdes as high lending rates and construction costs, insufficient infrastructure and lack of affordable housing.
Pune Property
The provisions that Pune real estate needs from Budget 2012 are:
  • A higher allocation of infrastructure funds, which should nevertheless be disbursed only if clear guidelines on timely commencement and completion for projects are agreed upon and adhered to
  • Removal of the 10% service tax on residential real estate construction, which increases the cost of new homes by as much as 3%. For a cost-sensitive market like Pune, which has a sizeable lower mid-income segment, this additional cost makes a big difference.
  • More incentives for development of affordable housing, so that more developers are encouraged to become active in this important sector and can increase the supply of budget homes in Pune.
  • Reduction of tax burden on rental income. Since buying a home is still an unattainable dream for many Puneites, renting remains the only viable option. In such a scenario, the Government needs to make rental housing a more attractive option for landlords. More fiscal incentives for landlords would also put downward pressure on rents.
  • Broaden the scope of interest rate subsidy for budget homes. Currently, the 1% home loan interest subsidy is only available for properties costing upto Rs. 20 lakh. This is extremely narrow-sighted, since it limits the choice of budget-constrained home buyers to the smallest formats and the furthest outskirts of the city. Increasing the ceiling to Rs. 30 lakh would help homebuyers to live closer to their workplaces, and to buy decent-sized homes.
  • Increase developers’ access to project funding at reasonable costs. The RBI’s step-motherly treatment being extended to real estate developers in this regard is reducing the supply of affordable housing and increasing the cost of these properties to home buyers
  • Reduce taxes such as excise, VAT and stamp duty on real estate so that home purchase becomes more attractive
India Budget 2012 is a great opportunity for the Finance Ministry to prove that the Government is concerned about the lack of affordable housing for the common man. We sincerely hope that this opportunity will be used with wisdom and compassion.

 

Anil-Pharande

 

Anil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

 

 

Pune Infrastructure Deficit – Causes And Cure

In the rush to develop projects during Pune’s real estate boom time, the very important factor of support infrastructure was neglected. This was especially true for projects within the city and the adjoining areas. Due to the high demand for properties, people kept on buying and developers kept on building even though infrastructure was declining rapidly.

Pune Property

However, Pune property buyers soon discovered that both their standard of living went down and the investment value of their properties stagnated because of the inferior infrastructure. Eventually, the new breed of Pune real estate buyers became more aware of the importance of basic infrastructure, and of their right to expect it. The highest demand is now for Pune flats that are affordable and also offer basic civil infrastructure such as adequate sewage, access roads, connectivity to important places, water and electricity supply, etc.

The problem of Pune’s infrastructure deficit is actually very surprising. The problem should logically be lower for projects developed within the city limits. After all, the municipal corporation has the advantages of sufficient funding and opportunity for forward planning. However, it is areas such as PCMC which have taken the infrastructure message more seriously. As a result, infrastructure in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is visibly superior to what Pune City has to offer. People who have bought homes in township properties in Pimpri Chinchwad are even better off, because these projects offer high-class internal infrastructure, as well.

The PCNTDA (Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority) has ensured that all residential areas in the PCMC have sufficient infrastructure. As a result, the quality of life and appreciation potential of residential properties in PCMC are at a very high level. Meanwhile, Pune continues to face problems of traffic congestion, lack of adequate open spaces and green areas, pollution, etc. The Maharashtra Government has been proactive in assisting with infrastructural enablement for its cities. However, it is not possible for the Government to rush in with support infrastructure whenever developers decide to build.

As such, developers should assume a larger share of responsibility for the establishment of infrastructure for their projects if they aspire for success for their projects. However, there is one more thing the Maharashtra Government can do to ensure that Pune’s newer areas get sufficient infrastructure. It can revise its policies on development and follow the model adopted by forward looking bodies such as the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA), which has implemented large-scale infrastructure reforms that do not necessarily involve huge budgets.

The model involves acquiring a larger tract of land, putting in all necessary civic infrastructures, and returning that component to the owners as developed land that has immediate market value. In return, they retain the remaining part for further development of their own projects.

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande – Vice President, CREDAI Pune Metro & Chairman, Pharande Spaces