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Housing sector shows signs of recovery

Sharath S. Srivatsa

Revenue crosses Rs. 250 crore in October for the first time this year

— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Back in demand: An apartment under construction.

BANGALORE: After almost a yearlong recession, the housing sector appears to be showing signs of recovery with the Stamps and Registration Department reporting an increase in revenue from stamp duty and registration fee.

The real-estate sector is claiming an increase in sale of housing units in the past couple of months.

For the first time since December last year, the monthly revenue from stamp duty and registration fee, which had dipped to Rs. 169.40 crore in May this year, crossed Rs. 250 crore in October. The department collected Rs. 258 crore in October by registering 39,711 documents although the amount is far lower when compared to the corresponding month in 2008 when, riding on a real-estate boom, revenue of Rs. 309.44 crore was collected. “The registration of properties was far less than expected during these months though the department collected good revenue in the corresponding period last year, which coincided with the boom period in the real-estate sector,” an official said. Revenue declined after December 2008 because of the recession. According to the statistics provided by the department, the monthly revenue stood at Rs. 174.44 crore in January 2009, Rs. 217 crore in February, Rs. 172 crore in March, Rs. 172.62 crore in April, Rs. 169.40 crore in May, Rs. 204.91 crore in June, Rs. 210.28 crore in July, Rs. 223.54 crore in August and Rs. 197.55 crore in September.

Sops working

“We have seen a 30 per cent increase in revenues through stamp duty and registration in October this year compared to the previous month. Sale of flats, which was dull earlier, may have increased pushing up revenue,” Inspector-General of Stamps and Registration K.R. Niranjan told The Hindu. He said that the sops offered by the Union Government to the housing sector, such as the 1 per cent subsidy on sub-Rs. 20 lakh loans, may have also helped the growth.

According to S. Suresh Hari, secretary, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI)-Karnataka, “The housing sector has seen a positive growth and there are many enquiries. October witnessed a good level of activity, and the sector has been growing slowly in the past few months.” He said reduction in stamp duty had helped sell existing projects. Another reason attributed for the growth, Mr. Hari said, was the registration of a large number of properties that had been held up because of an error in the Government Order bringing down stamp duty from 7.5 per cent to 6 per cent.

A large number of properties were registered in September and October after the error was rectified.

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