The real estate sector feels that the budget was a missed opportunity for the government to kickstart the sector. With no announcements for economic housing or special schemes for the sector, realtors in Pune say this budget will increase the stress in an otherwised stressed segment.
Pune’s real estate sector for the last few years has been witnessing stagnancy, both in terms of new project launches and sales. With more than 60,000 unsold flats, new launches had seen a 14 per cent dip as compared to last year. Following the announcement by the government of housing for all, realtors had hoped for special steps to rejuvenate the sector. Realtors had asked for tax sops for those going for affordable housing as well as an increase in sops for home buyers.
Speaking about the budget, Sachin Kulkarni, MD, Vastushod, said the budget has completely ignored the sector. “Other than a passing reference of construction of 2 crore urban and 4 crore rural economic housing, the budget was silent about the sector,” he said.
Talking about the Pune market, Kulkarni said that it has been stagnant for a long time and will remain so for some time longer. However, Kulkarni said that the property rates will not see any correction in the near future.
Sanjay Dutt, the executive managing director of South Asia Cushman and Wakefield, said the real estate sector is largely disappointed with this year’s budget, as except for REITs and curbing of benami transactions, there was no specific mention of the sector, unlike the last budget. Further, the increase of nearly 2% in Service Tax is going to increase the overall costs of buyers and those availing services from the real estate sector, creating further stresses across the sector.
Describing the budget as disappointing, Atul Goel, the managing director of Goel Ganga group, said the hike in service tax will further increase the prices of flats and that would be a dampener for the consumers. “However, I feel, since the government has promised to increase investment in infrastructure and start big-ticket projects, it will boost the overall economy,” Goel said.
Rohit Gera, MD, Gera Development, said the Pune market will not get the adrenaline boost it needed. “The overall improvement of the Pune’s residential realty market will be slow. It will now accelerate with interest rates coming down as well as salary increases on account of good corporate performance,” he said.