Budget expectations in real estate sector

While timely interventions and concessions have helped in increased traction in the real estate sector, additional measures will bolster growth. Ramesh Nair writes.

The government made necessary and timely interventions through liquidity infusion, fiscal support and reform driven investments in the initial leg of relief measures. Further, the Central Bank and the Central Government rolled out other critical measures including loan moratorium, relaxation of NPA classification norms, one-time restructuring of corporate and personal loans (including home loans), etc. These measures and concessions have definitely helped in enhancing consumer sentiment, thus boosting consumption, resulting in increased traction in the real estate sector. While we have seen a continuance of recovery in the fourth quarter which started in Q3 2020, the actual market transaction volumes continue to be lower compared to pre-Covid levels.

In this context, following additional measures will aid in spurring consumption, investment; thus, resulting in a sustenance of a recovery led growth in the next few quarters.

  • Accord industry status to the real estate sector
  • Extension of benefit u/s 80EEA to avail additional Rs 150,000 interest deduction on home loans to the following:
                    Existing homebuyers who have already availed home loans
                    First time homebuyers to include mid segment as well
  • Separate provision for deduction of 'principal repayment' on home loans
  • Restriction on setting off loss from house property against other heads of income at Rs 0.2 million to be removed
  • Reduction in holding period of REITs for long-term capital gains
  • Allow 100%  FDI in completed residential real estate projects through the automatic route
  • Allowing input tax credit on calculation of GST payable in real estate

Author: Ramesh Nair is CEO and Country Head (India), Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), an American commercial real estate services company.

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