Bangalore Adventure Activities: A quick tour!

Bangalore Adventure: Destination Bangalore - South India | Credit: Enchanting Travels

From being called as ‘the Air-Conditioned City’ to the ‘City of Gardens’– the Silicon Valley of India – Bangalore has a large number of adventure activities, which highly interests people across the city. Pristine lakes, the flying club, world-class malls, cafés, gardens, brilliant infrastructure and some of the classiest and fabled restaurants makes it just perfect for the luxurious life that you have always dreamed of living. Here is a list of adventure activities to do in and around the city.

Bangalore Adventure 01: Gardens, Lakes, and Parks

A clip from the Floating Restaturant at Lumbini Gardens & Nagavara Lake | Bangalore Adventure
A clip from the Floating Restaurant at Lumbini Gardens & Nagavara Lake | Credit: nearfox.com

Amidst the hurly-burly city life, Lumbini Gardens in North Bangalore is a quiet getaway to relax the mind and have fun with family and friends, which sits on the banks of pristine blue waters of Nagawara Lake. The waterfront leisure and eco-friendly boating park at Nagawara Lake and Lumbini Gardens attract around 5000 visitors every day for fun activities here.

Moving on to yet another serene garden, Lal bagh in South Bangalore is a replica of the Mughal Gardens. On every second and fourth weekend of the month, this gorgeous garden turns into one of the most fun places in Bangalore by hosting a folk festival called ‘Janapada Jatre’ celebrating the various dance forms and theatre performances.

Bangalore Adventure: A clip from the flower show at Lal Bagh in South Bangalore | credit: Wikipedia
A clip from the flower show at Lal Bagh in South Bangalore | credit: Wikipedia

When it comes to lakes, Kaikondrahalli Lake, right off Sarjapur Road is amongst the best-maintained lakes in Bangalore. The area is home to a rich biodiversity with its exotic flora and varied species of bird and reptiles, which makes this spot worth a visit for wildlife lovers and photography enthusiasts. This beautiful lake comes with cycle paths, a jogging track, and an amphitheater. Furthermore, the Kere Habba (Lake Festival) – the much talked about event here is celebrated with the vibrant ambiance of music, theatre, fitness campaigns and art fests. It gathers around 3000 people across the city itself.

Kaikondrahalli Lake: Actual photograph, Godrej Reflections is adjacent to this lake, right off Sarjapur Road, Bangalore Adventure
Kaikondrahalli Lake: Actual photograph, Godrej Reflections is adjacent to this lake, right off Sarjapur Road, Bangalore | credit: company brochure

A one of its kind natural treasure park – Bannerghatta National Park is home to around 48 species of beautiful and fascinating butterflies and insects. Introducing young ones to these captivating creatures can encourage love for a nature in this green, vibrant landscape.

Butterfly Park at the Bannerghatta National Park | Credit: Bannerghatta National Park's official website | bangalore adventure
Butterfly Park at the Bannerghatta National Park | Credit: Bannerghatta National Park’s official website

Bangalore Adventure 02: The Flying Club, Amusement Parks, Bowling Alley, 7D Cinema, Trekking, Caving, Games and More!

bangalore adventure
A clip from the Jakkur Flying Club | Image Credit: Crazyholidays

The popular  ‘Jakkur Flying Club’ in North Bangalore offers training and recreational flying activities for the visitors here. One can enjoy the sweeping views of the city at a height of 4000 ft. from the two-seater microlight aircraft. Accompanied by professional trainers as co-pilots, one’s flying experience is safe and secure as well.

A clip from the Wonderla Amusement Park
A clip from the Wonderla Amusement Park | Image Credit: wonderla.com
A clip from 'Fun World' - J.C.Nagar, Bangalore | bangalore adventure
A clip from ‘Fun World’ – J.C.Nagar, Bangalore | Image Credit: Funworld.com

The popular Wonder La Amusement Park, off Mysore Road-Bangalore, has enough adventure rides for everyone in the group, be it the Joy rides, water rides, musical fountains, laser shows, dance floors, rain showers, and a couple of virtual reality shows. This also houses 5 multi-cuisine restaurants. Another amusement park – the ‘ Fun World’ at J.C.Nagar is home to some of the best thrill rides such as Tsunami, Rollercoaster, The Curse of The Black Pearl, The Yahooooo slide, Bumper cars and lots more.

A clip from 'snow City', Bangalore | bangalore adventure
A clip from ‘snow City’, Bangalore | Image Credit: Snowcity.com

‘Winter Wonderland the Snow City in J.C. Nagar’ is an ice & snow-themed indoor amusement park featuring frozen slides, rides & other family activities, alongside a fantasy snow castle and a 5D theatre to enhance your thrilling experience. India’s largest bowling alley- the BluO in Malleshwaram is a concoction of world cuisine, live music, and fun. An ideal destination to bond, de-stress and rejuvenate. It is energetic, stylish and reflects the lifestyle and ideology of today’s youth. The ‘7D cinema in Whitefield’ have got the newest technology in Virtual Reality. Feel what you see as the entire Simulator Platform moves according to what is happening on the screen as you watch the movie with interactive 3D glasses. Over 7/9 different special effects kick in that make your movie experience even more “real” and exhilarating.

bangalore adventure
A clip from the bowling alley at the BluO | Image Credit: LBB.in
bangalore adventure
Stock Image Virtual Reality in Cinema | Image Credit: nearby.com

Anthargande, which lies around 70 Kms from Bangalore is quite a sight for caving and night-trekking activities under the starry blue sky. The Bangalore Turf Club – off the Racecourse Road, organizes the magnificent sport of horse racing for all the equestrians and the visitors here. The club also provides training and membership for the interested members. And for all the passionate drivers, the tough terrains of Kanakapura Road is all about letting your adrenaline take over you. Competing and racing along these roads, would surely make one ride and unleash against the airy breeze!

Bangalore Adventure | Biking: Stock Image | Image Credit: PolkaCafe
Biking: Stock Image | Image Credit: PolkaCafe

‘That Awesome Place’ which organizes art & craft activities, paintball sessions & plenitude of children’s shows, the PetBore Pet Resort, and IONA Gaming Centre at the Virginia Mall, are a few more exciting places to visit for the little fun seekers.

Bangalore Adventure 03: Cafés, Clubs, and Pubs

The breweries, scintillating cafes and livewire clubs and pubs — name it and Bangalore has it all. Whitefield has some thriving entertainment and nightlife options such as the Whitefield Club, Irish House, Harry’s and the Palm Meadows which sound perfect for clubbing, after-work parties, fun evenings, or the breezy date-nights. Indiranagar is lined with the coolest breweries such as the Toit and the Vapour Pub which serve in-house brewed drinks. The Counterculture Concerts here will surely give you some magical moments to remember.

Toit - the Brewpub, Bangalore | Image Credit: Zomato | Bangalore adventure
Toit – the Brewpub, Bangalore | Image Credit: Zomato

Bangalore Adventure 04: Shopping Hubs and Malls

The biggest retail outlet is Brookfield – a high street option in the city, which comes with many national and international restaurants chains as well. Bangalore is home to some of the best world-class malls such as the Forum Value Mall, Phoenix Market City, VR Bengaluru, Garuda Mall, Virginia Mall, just to name a few. In case one is bored of the malls, the awesome clothing and accessories collection at the Indiranagar and MG Road chic-shops is equally tempting.

A clip from the Phoenix Market City, Bangalore | Image Credit: shopkhoj.com
A clip from the Phoenix Market City, Bangalore | Image Credit: shopkhoj.com

To summarize

The city of Bangalore is charming and addictive and for many good reasons. With a crowd from all over the world, this city cannot get any more diverse. As the property prices soar here – the developers have started launching new projects every other year with strong marketing campaigns, and ‘proximity to adventurous places’ is amongst one of them.

Ozone Promenade is one such premium residential development which lies in the premiere neighborhood of Whitefield with the two popular shopping destinations right next door – the Phoenix Market City and VR Bangaluru. Furthermore, Pelican Grove and Aries Lakeview in North Bangaluru have the ‘Jakkur Flying Club’ amongst many other fun activities in the vicinity.

Want to know if the property of your choice has got any adventure activity closeby? Read PropStory’s report on it and get more details with price, amenities and actual site photographs.

Vacation Homes – An emerging real estate segment!

Vacation Homes: actual image | Image credit: web

Recently, one of my relatives just paid up their home loan and are looking to invest in a second home. Now that they are all set in their dream home (as they say!), the idea of purchasing a second home appeared a bit strange to me. So, over a cup of coffee, I decided to bring this thing up and ask, a new home? why now? And how they explained it to me seemed quite justifiable as well. They said – “Of course we are happy with this home, but what we would really want now is a vacay sort of place, something a bit fancy and away from this fast-paced city life, more like a weekend getaway!” When I enquired more with others, I was surprised to get similar responses. This intrigued me to do a little research – why for an increasing number of second home buyers, Vacation Homes are the most preferred choice of dwelling? Let’s look at the reasons for the same:

Vacation Homes – Highly Preferred Choice of Second Home Among Buyers

The segment of buyers, who seek profits out of real estate investments mostly opt to invest in a second home. For others, it could be just a matter of ownership and prestige. Recently, Indians have been investing in second homes with quite a higher rate than earlier, according to a report from www.klassicbuild.com. One of the foremost reasons is that the focus has now been shifted towards something that offers more personal value, like a Vacation Home. Some benefits of owning a Vacation Homes are:

  • A weekend holiday at one’s own place
  • Such properties also offer the option of renting and earning income
  • vacation homes
    Homes close to nature | Image Credit: web

People who hail from the middle & higher income group, tend to have higher expendable incomes. The purpose of buying such homes is either for investment purposes or mostly or just weekend-getaways.

Vacation Homes – Changing preferences

In today’s hurly-burly lifestyle, vacation homes are ideal retreats; they provide blissful timeouts with family or friends. The serenity of the place, in terms of environment and ease of accessibility, are few factors which one should consider, while investing in vacation homes.

While the mindset towards owning a second home is slowly changing, people are looking for innovative and affordable homes which not only provide a return on investments but also allow one to enjoy holidays at their own homes with minimum upkeep. Second homes in India are most likely either a few hours’ drives from the parent cities (of the buyer) or in some tourist destinations such as Goa, Lonavala, etc.

Well, not everyone can find a perfect option close to one’s home. When searching for a second home, price tags and the lifestyle quotient also play important roles. Secondly, when it comes to hustling-bustling cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. no one chooses a weekend getaway in their own city.

Vacation Homes – Where buyers are investing?

Goa, Lonavala, Alibaug, and Karjat are some of the highly preferred destinations for Mumbaikars. Goa, a state of India’s West Coast, is a former Portuguese colony with a rich history. It has been attracting a steady flow of visitors, be it the hippies, the returning expatriate Goans, the tourists from around the world-mostly, pilgrims visiting Catholic and Hindu shrines,  or the people going for medical treatment, and a growing number of those who attend seminars and conferences in Goa.

The dreams of owning an affordable home in Goa with all modern amenities yet with the idyllic, cultural Goan vibe is closer than one can imagine! Furthermore, there is a good supply pipeline of vacations homes in Goa from leading players such as Puravankara / Provident, Tata, Vianaar Homes and Umiya Developers, just to name a few.

Considering that, India’s prominent developer – Provident Housing and Puravankara Limited have launched Adora de Goa, a multi-use development of resort-style residences, retail, and resort in Chikalim village, Dabolim Goa.

Adora-De-Goa, at Dabolim, Goa by Provident/Puravankara | vacation homes
Adora-De-Goa, at Dabolim, Goa by Provident/Puravankara | Image credit: web
Adora-De-Goa, at Dabolim, Goa by Provident/Puravankara | vacation homes
Adora-De-Goa, at Dabolim, Goa by Provident/Puravankara | Image credit: web

Adora de Goa by Provident is expected to open its doors to holidaymakers in 2022 and is certain to raise the standard of a vacation in Goa. Best in class amenities, hospitality services, and beautifully designed private residences are more than one can ask for at budget prices in an international holiday destination. If you have ever dreamed of owning a vacation home in Goa, here’s an opportunity you can regret missing at leisure. Know more about the project in the article below:

https://propstory.com/property/adora-de-goa-dabolim-goa/

The locations such as Lonavala, Alibaug, and Karjat hold similar values when it comes to finding a dream-like-abode surrounded by an impeccable tranquil territory of naturescape. When all this comes at an affordable price bracket, it’s a plus for the home buyers!

In the North, particularly in Delhi-NCR, people prefer to invest in nearby localities, and the most favored vacation home format is the farmhouse. Localities such as Mehrauli, Bijwasan, Rajokri, and Chattarpur have a plenitude of such Farmhouse developments, at a starting price of Rs.2.5 Cr*. Few other vacation homes destination in North India include Uttarakhand & Himachal, the reason being the availability of hill stations which hold good investment value because of the appreciated tourism sector in such states.

In the south, the preferred destinations for vacation homes for major Indian Cities like Chennai & Bangalore include Puducherry, Yercaud, Ooty, and Mysore.

To summarize

Being amidst nature with a breath of fresh air, helps one rediscover the soul, reconnect with loved ones and find happiness in small joys. Vacation homes cater to what everyone craves for – a weekend relaxation, a break from the robotic work-life and unwinding from the daily grind. Historically, the concept of such homes was often restricted only to the prosperous. As living standards of people from the various sectors started flourishing in the country, purchase of vacation homes as second homes have become quite popular. This mode of dwelling offers great potential not only as a holiday/weekend getaway but also as an avenue for rental income.

Lakeview Apartments – A Reality Check!

Lakeview Apartments | Image Credit: web

The country-wide epidemic of poor air quality due to toxic air pollution and smog issues is very common these days. Economically developed countries are also faring quite badly in air quality indices. People living all across the globe are breathing toxic air daily. The intense race towards technological & infrastructural development has created a concrete jungle around us, handicapped natural habitat with lesser trees, and suffocating, polluted air to breathe. This, in turn, has produced compact & congested residential developments.

In this bustling clamour of city life, getting an opportunity to connect with nature becomes priceless. To sprawl out in a field surrounded by calming water bodies, whispering trees, and chirping birds and to look up at the endless blue sky, sounds almost unreal. Connectivity to nature works like a shell to a pearl & ensures our well-being while getting disconnected from it has harming consequences for our mental, physical & spiritual wellbeing.

Lakeview Apartments | Image Credit: Web
Lakeview | Image Credit: Web

A peaceful locality, with all the amenities, and ample greenery around is what one looks for while searching for a perfect dwelling. Few more additions to this list include an unhindered view of the surrounding naturescape and calming water bodies.

Such aspirations of a home buyer have created a competition amongst real estate developers to lure customers with tempting project features such as lake view apartments, homes with 270-degree views, BlueWaters residences, Ocean Blue Homes, and many others like that. We come across with these names every other day on the roadside hoardings, banners, brochures and even while browsing on the internet.

But is it the true picture? Are they really serving you the same recipe as offered?

lakeview apartments | Image Credit: web

I have covered several such projects, and what I came across is that – It might not always be true. It reminds me of an old saying – “All that glitters isn’t gold!”

The fact above seems quite justifiable in this case as well.

So, don’t get carried away with lavish handmade brochures and fancy artistic impressions that advertise projects with sky-high buildings right beside a blue lake with surplus greenery around. Because most of the times, it is just to attract the customers. I came across a similarly hyped project which has all good things mentioned about it on its blogs, hoardings, etc., and particularly the usp of the project – its proximity to a lake. It was a good project. But the lake would be either too dirty and would not be adding much value to the appeal or quality of the project. Then there are cases where the lake is a bit far or comes with a dingy driveway/ walkway to access it. While some projects are already surrounded by other high-rise buildings in the locality. The unusual case is when the developer somehow manages to get a land parcel near a random lake, and they would use it as a marketing strategy.

On the other hand, there are projects which will surprise you with truly impeccable features as promised by the developers, be it an impressive breathtaking lake view or an expansive balcony with infinity pool & sunbathing decks, or an epic eyeshot of the rich greenery unfurled around. We have covered several such “Lake View Apartments” projects, some of which include Indium Lake Forest, Orchid Lakeview, Sumadhura Lake Breeze, Brigade Lakefront, Prestige Lakeside Habitat, Embassy Lake Terraces, Citrus Aries Lakeview, Unicca Emporis, Century BreezeMaia Pelican Grove, M3M Marina, DNR Reflection, Aparna Hillpark Lake Breeze, PRA Lake District, and a few more.

Indium Lake Forest: Bird's Eye View
Indium Lake Forest: Bird’s Eye View
Brigade Lakefront at Whitefiled
Brigade Lakefront at Whitefield

In practice, how well can we understand a project without actually having a thorough understanding of the locality? Questions such as if the lake in the vicinity is clean/serene enough to offer such great views, the actual orientation of the apartment, etc., always come across one’s mind. Additionally, if there is any other existing/upcoming high rise buildings in the surroundings, it will surely block the views from the apartment itself. Well, no brochures, no hoardings, no fancy sample apartments, and no virtual walkthroughs can actually show you the real picture. One needs to get into its details with physical facts about the project.

These are some things to keep in mind before buying a house:

  • Understand the location and its benefits.
  • Do your own online research & a bit of homework before planning a visit.
  • Visit the project site and understand what’s on offer
  • There will be various features & offers associated with the project. Evaluate the best one for you & your family, whatever suits the idea of your dream home.

These steps will enable one to take better-informed home purchase decisions, be it a ‘Lakeview Apartment’ of your choice or if one is looking for lavish homes with other luxury features. Refer to this guide on our website to enlighten yourselves with some more home buying facts.

lakeview apartments | image credit: web

We at PropStory, do all this work for you! We do a thorough research on the project, then we visit the site and get an understanding of the locality. Lastly, we prepare a detailed & engaging description of the project for you. Our property/project report contains area, price & amenities details, information about the locality, social infrastructural details with actual site photographs. Read our report on various such projects to get a better understanding of it. Also, know how we prepare these amazing stories for you on PropStory’s Secret Recipe. PropStory operates in major Indian Cities including Mumbai, Thane, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Delhi NCR.

How does interest subvention benefit a property investor

Interest subvention scheme for home buyers

If one picks up the newspapers to figure out where to invest one’s hard earned money, one would probably not consider real estate seriously owing to multiple reports of the recent slowdown in this sector. However, such reports are far from the truth. Real estate in India has seen some much much-needed reforms, which aim at bringing in genuine transparency in its operations and the future is looking quite bright. In fact, now is as good a time as any to invest in a property, if one is looking for genuinely good returns.

This brings up another question: where should one invest? In the post-demonetization era and after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act or RERA have come into effect across the country, it’s best one invests in a project by a reputed institutional player, with has a proven record of delivering quality projects on time. It is such projects, which are prime candidates for good price appreciations in the future as trust and transparency become key factors for any home buyer, be it an end-user or an investor.

In order to entice property investors, who are undecided on where to put in their money, some reputed developers are coming up with attractive financial incentives, such as new interest subvention schemes. We look at these schemes and how these could benefit an investor in getting a property at a relatively low initial investment, which would enable him or her to cash in on it at a later stage to get the good returns he/she desires.

For the purpose of explaining the benefits of this subvention scheme, we shall take the example of an hypothetical premium project by a reputed developer located in the fast developing millennium city of Gurgaon in Haryana.

How an investor normally pays for a property

For an investor, the process of purchasing a property is similar to that of an end-user, wherein he/she decides on a property and pays a certain percentage of the total amount (15-20%) as a down-payment, with the remaining amount being paid by means of a home loan. This loan is generally from a bank or a housing finance company, which releases payments to the developer as per the progress in the construction of the project.

For an investor, the most important aspects are a low initial investment, lower financial burden owing to EMI and rents and the promise of good returns over and above the total investment made by him/her in the property (after covering for the down-payment, loan amount and the interest payable on the loan). Under the normal system described above, the investor needs to cater for a large portion of his/her earnings to go into payment of EMIs on the apartment as well as rent at the place he is currently staying in. To achieve this, one needs to make many sacrifices and adjustments to one’s lifestyle to be able to manage their financial situation, over the period of construction. In other words, there is plenty of short to medium term pain to be borne for the possibility to good returns in the future.

How the subvention scheme helps

Let’s come to our example of this premium Gurgaon project by a prominent developer in an emerging part of the city. The developer comes up with a subvention scheme, whereby as earlier the investor needs to make a down-payment of say 10% of the total cost of say Rs. 2.5 crore (which comes to approx. Rs. 25 lakh), with the home loan paying for the remainder till the possession date, which is say 3 years from now. However, the point of difference comes in the treatment of the EMIs on an apartment in this under-construction project. The developer, rather than the investor, pays all the EMIs till possession.

Interest subvention scheme for investors (Image credit: Deccan Chronicle)
Interest subvention scheme for investors (Image credit: Deccan Chronicle)

Considering that for an investor, the EMI is the biggest expense he has to incur, this comes as a much-needed relief. While the benefit of a low initial investment remains, one also does not need to bother about having to set aside huge funds towards EMI payments. In addition, assuming an average home loan interest rate of 16.5% over three years, one can save anywhere from approx. Rs. 16 lakh to Rs. 32 lakh in interest costs alone. Hence, an investor and his family can maintain the same standard of living, as earlier and in this interim period, gather enough savings to comfortably pay off the remainder of the loan.

By the time possession comes along, the investor can expect the value of the apartment to have appreciated significantly and by selling off the project, he/she can look forward to making massive gains, while being spared of the medium term trouble he/she had to bear earlier.

Indirect benefits of subvention for an investor

So far, we have focused on the apartment itself. However, a project does not come up in a vacuum, but are accompanied by matching improvements in the transport and social infrastructure around the project. If say, a new highway or metro line comes up near the project in our example within these 3 years, the connectivity to one’s office, the Metro and the Delhi airport will improve greatly. This will attract schools, hospitals and offices to the area, which would increase the attractiveness of the project.

This, in turn, will create greater demand for the project, pushing up the prices of apartments here significantly further. It is here that the investor stands the chance to make even greater returns.

Conclusion

The success of any investments depends upon making the right choice at the right time and price and then, waiting for stuff such as construction and infrastructure to fall into place. With the subvention scheme relieving one of financial stress, it is a welcome way for an investor to make hay in the real estate market, which remains one of the most lucrative investment destinations available.

How To Buy A Home – A Video Guide

Are you ready to buy a home? But unsure of how to go about it in these uncertain times? Our little explainer will prep you for the process of buying your first home. It summarises important things to keep in mind during the process of buying a home.

  1. Understand the location and its benefits
  2. Plan your budget or mortgage based on your monthly expenses
  3. Understand payment schedules: when you pay more or less
  4. Do your online research and homework
  5. This will enable better, informed decisions
  6. Visit the project site and understand what is on offer
  7. There will be various offers, evaluate the best one for you and your family
  8. Review your credit worthiness and loan eligibility
  9. Simultaneously review rental rates in the area

Q & A – How will the GST impact my decision to buy a home?

Impact of GST on Indian real estate

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has consumed many a news cycle, over the last few years. Touted to be the biggest indirect tax reform in the country’s history, the road to its becoming a reality has been littered with numerous obstructions and delays. However, with the Union Parliament having finally passed four bills related to this legislation and the rates for goods and services decided by the GST Council, it seems that the tax will meet its rollout target of 1st July 2017.

Construction and real estate is the second biggest sector in the Indian economy and cannot be immune to this all-encompassing legislation. In order to assist home buyers and others with an interest in this sector  regarding the impact of this tax, we have come up with this FAQ set:

Q1. How has real estate been taxed up till now (prior to GST)?

A. Taxation of this sector has been a rather complex process, with taxes imposed by central, state and local authorities on a variety of items, from land, transportation, construction materials, building cost, Value Added Tax (VAT), service tax, octroi and property registration, being the most prominent ones. In addition, the taxation process has been non-transparent, with no clarity across the entire supply chain from raw material manufacturers/suppliers to the end customer.

Q2. What problems does this tax structure cause for developers and customers?

A. Due to the opacity of taxes paid across the supply chain, taxes paid by say, a supplier, is added by him to the cost he charges from the developer, who also ends up paying tax again on the same amount, pushing up his cost of construction. Tax evasion was also a common feature. The customer is the ultimate sufferer as eventually, all this ‘tax cascading’ reflects in a higher price for his dream home.

Also, delays in transportation of raw materials is a common occurrence owing to long queues at state borders or outside city limits for entry tax or octroi, which affects project delivery schedules and hence, the developer’s credibility.

Q3. How does the GST propose to treat taxation on real estate?

A. The GST aims to improve the ease of doing business in the sector by its two main principles: reduced complexity and transparency in taxation. This tax will subsume various central, state and local levies such as VAT, service tax, octroi, inter-state transportation and taxes on raw materials and construction.

Across the supply chain, each party (supplier, developer, transporter etc.) needs to pay a single rate, which is known to all and can claim tax credit for the portion already paid by another party. Hence, one only pays taxes on the value added by him/herself and this removes the problem of tax cascading, which unnecessarily pushed up home prices.

Q4. What are the remaining steps for the GST to become operational across the country?

A. The Union Parliament has cleared four legislations related to this tax: the Central GST (CGST) for central government taxes on supply of goods and services within a state, Union Territory GST (UTGST) for taxation within a Union Territory (other than Delhi and Puducherry), Integrated GST (IGST) for taxation on inter-state movement of goods and services, and a Compensation Bill to compensate state governments for any revenue loss for 5 years after the tax comes into effect.

The next step involves all states and the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry needing to pass a state GST (SGST) law in their respective legislatures, which will be in line with the central law, by the 1st of July 2017, for the GST to become fully operational.

Q5. What other benefits does the GST hold for real estate?

A. GST has a self-policing mechanism: by providing all parties the opportunity to claim input tax credit, it aims to foster a culture of greater transparency and accurate disclosure of actual revenues earned and expenses incurred. By doing so, it aims to bring down tax evasion, which would be a great boon to the realty sector, which had been perceived negatively in customers’ eyes for the same reason.

GST taxation and the real estate market
GST taxation and the real estate market (Image credit: a3solutions.in)

Construction delays due to equipment and raw material being held up at various boarders will become history, with the IGST coming in. Developers will be able to have greater control over project delivery, which also works to customers’ advantage. The law is likely to eliminate many unscrupulous developers, who thrived on the opacity on the earlier system, from the market. Customers should take care to purchase homes only from reputed developers with a good delivery record.

Q6. As an end customer, will the GST be the only tax I will have to pay while buying a home?

A. No. Levies such as the Stamp Duty (imposed on the cost of land/property) and registration charges are outside the ambit of this tax and will be charged separately.

Q7. I am to take possession of my home in June 2017 (just before the GST comes in). Will I be liable to pay GST?

A. No, you shall be taxed as per the existing system. However, the GST will be applicable to all under-construction projects at the date of its implementation and new projects, launched after that date. Based on presentations made to them by real estate body CREDAI, the GST Council has set a rate of 12% for under-construction and new properties.

Q8. I am planning to purchase completed property in a secondary (resale) transaction? Do I need to pay GST?

A. No, this tax will not apply to buyers, who are purchasing a completed and ready to move in property in a resale transaction.

Q9. How will the GST affect the final cost of my dream home?

A. The government has spoken about affordable housing being one of its focus areas and setting the taxation rate for real estate at 12% instead of the much talked about 18% is indeed a step that helps in this regard. While for developers operating in states with a composite VAT scheme, the tax burden may go up a bit, it may come down by a limited amount for those in states, not providing this scheme. That said, all developers can claim input tax credit on their materials etc. which offsets some of the tax increase, so the impact on home prices should be minimal, a big relief for home buyers and developers alike.

GST and home prices
GST and home prices (Image credit: Indianexpress.com)

The GST will also be applicable to EMIs payable on home loans, hence with a lower tax burden, as sales would go up, unsold inventory would reduce and home buyers would get a great deal as well.

However, an area of concern remains the exclusion of stamp duty and registration charges from this tax, which add a sizeable component to the final price paid by a home buyer. In recent years, the ready reckoner rate on land, on which stamp duty is levied, has shown a sharp upward increase in most real estate markets.

Update as of 16th June 2017

In recent days, many instances have been noticed of developers asking home buyers of under-construction projects to pay up the entire balance amount before 1st July 2017, else be ready to pay a higher amount from that day onward, owing to the GST. The Union Finance Ministry has issued a clarification in this regard on 15th June 2017, which is summarized below.

In the sale agreement between a developer and home buyer, the only tax component the latter sees is the service tax (4.5%) and VAT under composition scheme (1-2%), making it appear the total tax payable is 5.5-6.5%. However, included in the price of an apartment are VAT on construction materials (12.5-14.5%), excise duty on construction material (12.5% onwards) and Entry taxes imposed by state Governments. All these are not visible to the home buyer, but form part of the tax burden on him/her, which the GST will subsume.

In addition, with input tax credits available for developers to claim, the same is expected to be passed on to consumers. Hence, not only is the total tax payable lower under the GST (12%) on under-construction properties, with the input tax credits, the tax burden should actually come down further. If the developers are charging a higher tax post-GST, this will be considered as profiteering, which is an offence under the GST Act.