Working solutions
Work in style: Berkeley Square (top) and Godrej Eternia commercial complexes in Indistrial Area Phase I in Chandigarh tribune photos: parvesh chauhan While the residential realty market in the tricity area is slowly getting back on its feet, it is the office space market that has seen a spurt in supply with a number of upcoming projects offering office units in and around Chandigarh. With more than half a dozen commercial projects offering office spaces coming up, the tricity and its periphery has a delectable fare on offer to satiate the appetite for quality office spaces.
Work in style: Berkeley Square (top) and Godrej Eternia commercial complexes in Indistrial Area Phase I in Chandigarh tribune photos: parvesh chauhan

IT city’s rising realty graph
Sustained demand for IT/ITeS office space has spurred the growth of commercial real estate in Bangalore, which has emerged as the leading city in terms of completed office space in the country. The city crossed a milestone in its office realty development curve last year, in fact, by becoming the first Indian office hub to have joined the club for 100-million-sq.ft. office markets across the globe.

Realty bites

On a low bandwith
Faridabad began as a pure industrial town, with the majority of employment opportunities emerging from the industrial sector. There is now a gradual shift in trend, and the service sector is now picking up in the area. Faridabad’s improved connectivity with key cities in NCR, primarily Delhi and Noida, has been favourable for its realty market.

Project watch

tax tips
S. C. Vasudeva email your queries to [email protected]

Can we buy a plot from sale proceeds?

Process for transferring property in son’s name

Construction deadline on plot allotted by development authority

Loss in property deal

Should my father pay wealth tax?

loan zone
S. C. Dhall ...

Should I pre-close loan to take a new one for second house?

Demand in mid-segment remains high

NCR Trends

Ground Realty
Jagvir Goyal.

  • Floors that dazzle

  • Diamond polish




Working solutions
Anticipating demand in the office space segment, developers in the tricity area are offering a wide range of high-end modern offices
Geetu Vaid

While the residential realty market in the tricity area is slowly getting back on its feet, it is the office space market that has seen a spurt in supply with a number of upcoming projects offering office units in and around Chandigarh. With more than half a dozen commercial projects offering office spaces coming up, the tricity and its periphery has a delectable fare on offer to satiate the appetite for quality office spaces.

Demand drivers

The rising trend of entrepreneurship, influx of IT companies and several MNCs expanding their footprint in the region have led to an increased demand for office space in and around Chandigarh. The fact that there is a lack of space and rentals are sky high in the high street areas within the city has also acted as a catalyst for these new projects coming up in newer locations like Industrial Area, Zirakpur and Mohali.

“There is a healthy demand for office accommodation within Chandigarh as the supply is very limited. Several small and medium entrepreneurs and professionals like CAs, doctors, lawyers need good quality office spaces but find it difficult to afford these in the main commercial sectors due to high prices and rentals”, says Sanjay Dahuja, Managing Director, Berkeley Group.

Many of the main commercial spaces don’t have proper parking space which acts as a dampner for businesses. Another limitation is that Chandigarh offers only the format of Showroom-cum-Office (SCO) which allows not more than 2,000-2,500 sq ft area on a single floor. “For most large enterprises, this is a serious limitation that gets aggravated due to the limited level of facilities offered in these formats like little security, absence of power back up and improper reception area, which are important requirements for most organisations”, says Prateek Mittal, Executive Director, Sushma Buildtech.

Thus, the need of the hour is strategically located and well-connected commercial buildings that aim to provide stress free environment to the employees and enhance their productivity.

According to market watchers the increased demand coupled with these limitations has made several developers launch commercial complexes in less congested periphery areas.

Projects and prices

Within Chandigarh the Industrial Area (Industrial and Business Park-I) is emerging as a new destination for office spaces. The Berkeley Group’s ‘Berkeley Square’ in Phase I is almost ready for possession. According to the Managing Director of the group they will start handing over the possessions in the next two to three months. The six-storey complex will have approximately 2,00,000 sq ft built up area, with 5-level parking space for 300-400 cars. The office spaces start from 400 sq ft to 12,000 sq ft. and are priced at Rs 50 lakh onwards.

Godrej Eternia is the other upcoming project in the same area. It is a LEED Platinum pre-certified project with a development size of over 4,80,000 sq. ft. The base selling price of this project launched in 2009 was between Rs 11,000 to 15,000 per sq ft.

Moving to the periphery area of Zirakpur, which is fast coming up as a business district and a commercial hub, one can find a number of commercial projects offering office spaces. Sushma Buildtech is coming up with ‘Sushma Infinium’ spread over an area of four acres with 4,35,000 sq ft office space on the Chandigarh-Delhi highway. The current price of this project that is likely to be completed by December, 2016 is Rs 6,245 per sq ft. The Motia Group also has an upcoming project in the same location. Maruti will be constructing its state-of-the-art regional office building in the same area.

Mohali, too, has a number of commercial projects offering office spaces . These include ‘Bestech Business Towers’ within the 13-acre integrated development Bestech Square in Sector 66, Mohali. The two towers will offer about 6.5 lakh sq. ft. of high-end workspaces. In Mullanpur the Omaxe group is coming up with International Trade Tower that will have 15,00,000 sq ft office and retail space.

Investment opportunity

High prices of residential properties and low return on investment generally serve as a deterrent for many investors. As the office spaces are available in areas ranging from 400 sq ft to up to 12,000 sq ft, these also offer a good investment opportunity to those wanting to invest small sums in property. The investment can be in the range of Rs 18 to Rs 25 lakh for a small office space and with most of these developers offering an assured return scheme the return on investment is more. So, in a market plagued by slowdown investing in office spaces can ensure some returns, says Kamal Sehgal, a city-based property consultant.

While there is a surge in supply and demand too is anticipated, but a weak economy and uncertain job market scenario raise doubts about the growth of this segment, especially in the tricity area. Even countrywide the absorption of office space has declined by 34 per cent in Jan-March period according to a CBRE study released recently. Only time will tell how much of this high-end and modern office space supply is actually utilised in the tricity. 


The tricity not only has a huge range of office spaces, but the developers are also keeping in step with the latest global trends in design and facilities. Most of these projects are offering comprehensive solutions to meet the aspirations and expectations of the customers. Thus, while ‘Deck Office’ wherein the office opens to a private deck is the USP of Sushma Infinium, Godrej Eternia has a terrace and a penthouse office on offer. Spacious and airy and constructed with hi-tech technology and fittings these upcoming commercial spaces are not less than seven-star hotels. “Our design incorporates large, efficient floor plates, a wide column span and high floor-to-floor clearance, allowing for optimal space utilisation. It provides flexible end-to-end solutions that assist companies and individuals to meet their objectives like efficient front desk, round -the-clock security equipped with all the modern techniques”, says Dahuja of the Berkeley Group.

Many of these projects are equipped with cafes, retails, hotels and health set ups. 



IT city’s rising realty graph
Anshuman Magazine

Sustained demand for IT/ITeS office space has spurred the growth of commercial real estate in Bangalore, which has emerged as the leading city in terms of completed office space in the country. The city crossed a milestone in its office realty development curve last year, in fact, by becoming the first Indian office hub to have joined the club for 100-million-sq.ft. office markets across the globe.

According to CBRE’s recently released Asia Pacific Investor Intentions Survey 2014 — which gauges the appetite and outlook of real estate investors at a global level for the rest of the year — Bangalore has been ranked as the 9th most attractive city for investments among all groups of respondents for the survey — with international investors dominating this particular survey response. Interestingly, it happens to be the only city from India to feature among the top 10 most attractive cities for real estate investments in the Asia Pacific region.

Cosmopolitan culture

The city is home to a highly cosmopolitan crowd, attracting migrants from all parts of the country. Between the Census 2001 and 2011, Bangalore’s population had nearly doubled from 6.5 million people to about 9.6 million. A continuously swelling population has understandably fuelled housing demand, with the city witnessing a record number of new residential launches during 2013.

Furthermore, favourable demographics, rising per capita income, and the availability of quality retail space has led to Bangalore’s emergence as a favored retail destination, with a number of global and domestic retailers either setting up shop or expanding their footprint in the city.

It has also functioned as the back office hub for international retailers like Target and Tesco, even before they explored front-end launches in the country; while global retailers like Metro Cash & Carry had been present in Bangalore long before spreading to other cities in India.

Office space update

Availability of quality office space at comparatively affordable rentals along with good connectivity and improved infrastructure has spurred demand for office space from corporate occupiers.

In this regard, the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and Whitefield, in particular, have emerged as preferred options for corporate occupiers and market entrants.

Meanwhile, North Bangalore has steadily emerged as a major development hub owing to its proximity to the international airport as well as to the city-center, and rapid infrastructure development. In 2013, Bangalore witnessed the absorption of approximately 7.4 million sq. ft. of commercial and SEZ space; while about 7.7 million sq. ft. of fresh office space came into the market. Although the IT/ITeS sector continued to drive demand for office space in the city, last year also witnessed steady demand from new sectors like the BFSI, research and consulting, engineering and manufacturing. Bangalore’s upcoming office supply pipeline is dominated by a healthy mix of commercial and SEZ development.

Going forward, transaction activity is likely to pick up along the ORR, owing to the fresh supply of quality commercial and SEZ space over the forthcoming quarters. North and South Bangalore markets are also likely to attract rising demand for office space.

Rental values are likely to remain stable across most micro-markets in the short to medium terms.

Residential demand up

From being dubbed as a ‘pensioners’ paradise’, Bangalore has emerged as the hub of frenetic residential activity. Residential markets in Bangalore witnessed buoyant, albeit stable, growth over the fluctuating trends witnessed in the two largest residential markets of India — the Delhi National Capital Region and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Of the approximately 40,000 units launched in Bangalore in 2013, a large number of projects were in the affordable and mid-end housing segments. Residential demand is also expected to improve in the forthcoming quarters, which along with a steady supply pipeline may lead to strong capital appreciation in select locations. Ongoing and planned infrastructure projects such as the Metro Rail, Signal Free Outer Ring Road and Peripheral Ring Road, are likely to propel the housing investment market in the city too. The availability of land parcels along the Thanisandra–Hennur Road (North) and Horamavu belts (North East) are also likely to facilitate the launch of new housing projects, and help maintain a healthy supply dynamics in the city; while expansion in the IT sector is expected to keep feeding the city’s housing supply in the short to medium term.

Retail development picks up

Retail activity in the city has traditionally been restricted to popular high streets such as 100 Feet Road — Indiranagar, and Vittal Mallya Road. Bangalore’s CBD and off-CBD locations had historically been its retail epicenter, with Brigade Road, MG Road and Commercial Street being considered as prime high streets, characterised by mixed-use retail and small format stores.

The same region experienced the introduction of large format shopping centers from the mid-2000s onwards, with malls such as The Forum in Koramangala (2004). Since then the city’s retail activity spread outwards (Phoenix Market City at Whitefield, and Brigade Orion at Malleswaram, for instance), in-line with the outward movement of its housing catchment in the peripheral markets.

During 2013, retailers from fashion, apparel and F&B segments continued to account for a significant chunk of leasing activity. Lack of fresh organised retail supply in the city resulted in demand for shopping space in the high street areas of Koramangala, Jayanagar, MG Road, Indira Nagar, Brigade Road, Commercial Street and New BEL Road. Wholesale retailing was a fast expanding format in the city last year. Conducive government regulations led to the entry of major cash-and-carry players, with several other brands lining up for an entry. Carrefour opened its first cash-and-carry format under the brand name, Carrefour Wholesale Cash & Carry, at ETA Mall (West).

With the anticipated completion of three malls by H1 2014, around 1.1 million sq. ft. of organised retail space is likely to become operational.

— The writer is CMD, CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd.



Realty bites

Supertech moves SC on demolition order

Realty firm Supertech filed a petition in the Supreme Court earlier this week challenging the Allahabad High Court order to demolish the company’s two 40-storey towers in a Noida housing project. The two towers, Apex and Ceyane, together have 857 apartments. Of these, about 600 flats have already been sold. The towers are a part of Supertech’s Emerald Court project. “We have filed an SLP (Special Leave Petition) in the Supreme Court,” Supertech Chairman and Managing Director R K Arora told PTI.

In the petition, he said, the company has contested that the two towers were constructed as per approved building plans and there was no violation. He said the company was not able to put forward its points in Allahabad High Court appropriately and will argue its case “strongly” in the apex court.

The affected apartment buyers have been protesting against the demolition and some of them have formed a group and approached the Supreme Court independently. On April 11, the Allahabad High Court ordered the demolition of the two buildings and the refund of money to apartment buyers.

The high court judgement was passed while allowing a writ petition of the Emerald Court Owners Resident Welfare Association, which alleged that the approval and construction of the two towers was “in complete violation of the UP Apartment Acts”. — PTI 

Construction tech conference

A National Conference on Emerging Technologies in Construction Industry was organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi recently. Addresing the conference V. L Patankar, Director General (Roads), Ministry of Road Transport & Highways said the government would encourage construction of highways and national road links through EPC mode (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) and do away with the PPP mode since it could not tap stakeholders to put in place the desired highways in the past. Patankar also categorically stated that the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways would deal with only serious roads’ and highways’ developers to layout 4,000 km of highways and road projects from 2014-15 onwards to also enrol them as serious stakeholders in such projects to enable them to fulfill post construction’obligations relating to such projects.

The DG, Roads explained that the government was no longer keen to deal with operators and developers of roads’ and national highways’ who can’t sustain road maintenance for four years or more after construction of these projects .

It was because of this reason that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has contemplated to revive the EPC mode with larger modifications to construct and build roads’ and highways’ in which the liberty to design such projects would stay with the developers without letting them to avoid honouring the commitment of post construction activities and obligations.



On a low bandwith
This NCR city offers plenty of choice to those looking for homes in the affordable range. But the quality of construction and delays in delivery remain the major concerns for homebuyers
Santhosh Kumar

Faridabad began as a pure industrial town, with the majority of employment opportunities emerging from the industrial sector. There is now a gradual shift in trend, and the service sector is now picking up in the area. Faridabad’s improved connectivity with key cities in NCR, primarily Delhi and Noida, has been favourable for its realty market.

A lot of new residential developments have come up; importantly, there has been a spurt in new group housing society projects. Here, Omaxe, BPTP, Puri Construction, Eros Group and Ansals are some of the major developers with noticeable presence.

The average ticket size for apartments in Faridabad is around ~3000-4000/sq. ft. In most of the group housing projects, appreciation has been sluggish of late. The annualised appreciation over the past couple of years for housing projects in this region stands at around 8-10 per cent.

This is consistent with the overall trend seen in the NCR market, which has been significantly affected by negative economic sentiments, political uncertainty, high inflation and cost of borrowing and the liquidity crisis. The region mainly has affordable housing in low ticket-size projects, with a few luxury projects.

Faridabad is currently an end-user/buyer market. Still among the most affordable markets in the NCR belt, unit prices and apartment sizes available in Faridabad suit the requirements of average households. Going forward, this region’s real estate market is going to witness additional impetus on account of the improved connectivity brought by the KMP Expressway, FNG flyover and the Badarpur flyover.

It can be said that developers have been somewhat over-enthusiastic when it comes to launching projects in Faridabad. In fact, demand for housing in Faridabad has been on the slower side because of the absence of an inherent ‘pull’ factor. Faridabad has, for the longest time, been a small industrial town. Unlike Noida and Gurgaon, it could never create appeal for corporates, so there was little demand for office spaces. Modes of employment other than industries were limited. Also, it is only in recent times that Faridabad’s connectivity with other key areas such as Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida improved.

All these factors resulted in average traction of residential projects launched in the region. Besides this, Faridabad has always been an end-user driven market, and therefore off the radars of investors. This has resulted in limited activity in the real estate market of the region. Many builders operating in Faridabad tend to have limited bandwidth, experience and resources to execute large-scale developments. This has resulted in delays in some of the projects; but then, we have also seen projects by Mahindra and BPTP approaching completion.

The quality of construction in Faridabad’s residential projects has so far been largely mid-grade. Since a majority of the projects are primarily aimed at mid-income consumers, maintaining affordability has been a priority for most developers with projects in this belt. For low-margin budget housing projects, it is inevitable that builders will compromise on construction quality so as to safeguard their margins. Delays in approval, increased interest rates and construction cost take a further toll. That said, the construction quality of most of the projects launched by BPTP and other leading developers is definitely average to above average.

The high incidence of consumer complaints emanating from the region is primarily due to the fact that Faridabad is end-user driven. In such a market, timely delivery of project, allotment of the right units, construction quality and other such issues become critical.

There have been delays in delivery of projects by leading developers in Noida and Gurgaon as well. However, these have not drawn much press since the investor interest in those projects was substantial, and investors are usually not very perturbed by such issues.

In an instance that has caused some negativity in the Faridabad market, BPTP — the largest real estate developer in the Faridabad region, with a land-bank of around 1500 acres — has started selling constructed units as well as plots. There have been reported cases of consumers being allotted plots different from the ones they were originally shown. This has impacted the credibility of the project, despite the fact that there are no concerns when it comes to quality of construction and completion timelines for the projects.

— The writer is CEO, Operations, JLL India



Project watch

Godrej Oasis in Gurgaon

The Mumbai-based real estate developer Godrej Properties has launched a premium residential project Godrej Oasis in Sector 88A, Gurgaon recently. Spread over approximately 4.5 acres, this project will comprise five towers with 306 apartments and a total saleable area of approximately 46,000 sq m (500,000 sq. ft.). Customers can choose from 2, 2.5, 3 and 3.5 BHK apartments ranging in size from 121 square meters (1,307 sq. ft.) to 192 sq m (2,066 sq. ft.) with prices starting from ~85 lakh.

This project connects to three major highways — Pataudi Road, NPR (Northern Periphery Road) and NH8. Upcoming road infrastructure will further enhance the connectivity of the project to Delhi and other parts of Gurgaon.

Possessions handed over

Ashiana Housing Limited handed over possessions at its senior living project in Lavasa last week. More than 400 senior citizens from Delhi, NCR, Bhiwadi, Jaipur Pune, Lavasa and Mumbai were present on the occasion to get a first hand experience of a senior living project. Utsav Lavasa is the third retirement housing project by Ashiana Housing Limited, that is executing and managing retirement housing projects in Bhiwadi, and Jaipur. The 15.5 acre project in Bhiwadi has 640 units, while 7.5 acre project in Jaipur has 310 apartments. The Lavasa project is psread over an area of 30 acres. “The initiative will definitely help to turn neighbors into being supportive inmates and friends forever” said Mr Ankur Gupta, Joint Managing Director. Utsav Lavasa will have its own Medical Assistance Center with small infirmary with doctors, nurses, pharmacy and also an ambulance available 24 hours. Utsav Management will also provide facilities like plumber, electrician, mistri, garbage collection & disposal.

Ashiana Housing Ltd has become the only real estate company from India to figure in “Asia’s Best Under a Billion” Company compiled by Forbes magazine. About 39 Indian companies made it to the list, Ashiana Housing being the only real estate company. Forbes lists highlights the 200 top-performing small and medium size enterprises having revenue under a $1 billion. It picks up these firms from close to 13,000 publicly listed Asia-Pacific companies

Wave mall in Jammu

Wave Infratech, the real estate arm of Wave Group, launched a multi-brand retail mall and multiplex in Jammu. The four-level Wave Mall, located in the heart of Jammu, sprawls over an operational retail area of 2,00,000 sq ft. In addition, its premises will include a multiplex, Wave Cinemas with 3 screens. The mall also offers ample parking space across three levels that accommodate 500 cars and 200 two-wheelers. Speaking on the occasion Rajiv Gupta, CEO of Wave Malls and Multiplexes said, “The Wave Mall launch in Jammu is part of our expansion plan. We recently launched malls in Meerut and Bareilly and aim to come up in Rudrapur and Ghaziabad now. ”

— Based on information provided by the developer

Hanging swimming pool

Horizon concept Pvt. Ltd. is offering “Hangout Swimming Pool”in its fully serviced apartments and retail complex, Orizzonte located in the bustling commercial hub of Knowledge Park 3, Greater Noida. Orizzonte, KP-3 Greater Noida is a mixed-use commercial project of 7.5 acre which comprises serviced apartments, residential apartments, hostel, retail and hospital. The pool and serviced apartments will be managed and operated by Sarovar Portico, 5-star hotel chain.

Hangout is India’s first hanging swimming pool. Giving details of the project and its unique feature Suninder Sandha, Director Horizon Concept Pvt Ltd. said “The 26mt(W) x 5mt(L) pool being designed by Genre of Design group will be at a height of 40 ft . The glass base of the pool will allow an extraordinary view of the surroundings, especially the hanging part which hangs over the entrance of the hotel”.



tax tips
S. C. Vasudeva email your queries to [email protected]
Can we buy a plot from sale proceeds?

Q. My husband bought a plot on which we constructed a house in 1990s by taking loan from his department. He died in 2005. My daughter (major) and I are the legal heirs of the property. I have remarried. We have sold the house for Rs 40 lakh in December 2013.

My queries are as follows:

* Is it necessary to buy a residential property in exchange of our sold house or can we buy a plot from the sale proceeds?

* Both me and my daughter should have a joint account to get DD from the buyer or should we take separate DDs in separate accounts? Is it necessary to buy new property jointly or can I buy it solely on my daughter’s name?

* If we don’t spend all the money then what will be the tax liabilities of remaining money? — Raj Kumari

A.Replies to your queries are given hereunder:

* The amount of capital gain arising in this case would be treated as a long-term capital gain. Such long-term capital gain tax would be exempt from tax only if you utilise the same for the construction of a residential house within a period of three years after the date of sale of the old house or buy a residential house within one year before or two years after the date of sale of the old residential house. If you intented to construct a new house then buying a plot can be a process towards the same purpose. However, the plot should, if possible, be purchased before the due date of filing of the Income Tax return for assessment year 2014-15 so as to utilise the amount of capital gain towards the cost of plot. In case the full or part amount of capital gain is not utilised before the said date towards the construction or purchase of a residential house, the remaining amount or, as the case may be, full amount of capital gain will have to be deposited in a designated bank account under capital gain scheme. You can withdraw the money from the said account for constructing or purchasing the residential house within the specified period. This procedure will enable you to save the tax on capital gain arising on the sale of the residential house.

* It will be advisable to take a separate demand draft in your name as well as in the name of your daughter because the capital gain will be assessable in your as well as in your daughter’s hand separately. Each one of you can invest the capital gain so earned separately towards the purchase or construction of a new house within the specified period or buying of infrastructure bonds for the purposes of saving capital gains tax. It may be clarified that such bonds can be purchased within six months of the date of sale of the residential house.

* The amount of capital gain cannot be computed as the details about the cost of plot and cost of construction thereon are not available. Tax on capital gain would be chargeable @ 20 per cent plus education cess of 3 per cent thereon.

Process for transferring property in son’s name

Q.I am a senior citizen (NRI) who has lived in the UK and Canada for the past several years. I own a residential property in Ludhiana (my only property in India) and wish to transfer it to my son who is a UK PIO. Please advise with respect to the following queries:

* I understand that the transaction will be exempt from stamp duty. Please confirm if this is the case and if any other taxes/surcharges would apply on the said transfer. Would capital gain tax be applicable? If so, how can it be mitigated or avoided?

* Please describe the transfer process in detail which office(s) and department(s) to approach. Also what documents have to be produced for transfer to take place.

* How long does the transfer process take to complete? — Mohinder Singh Barerer

A.Replies to your queries are given hereunder:

* The residential property owned by you can be gifted by you to your son. I hope the residential property owned by you is a freehold property. If this is the case, and there are no restrictions on the transfer of the property in question by execution of a gift deed in favour of your son. This, in my opinion would involve payment stamp duty on the market value of the property. I am not aware if there is any exemption in Punjab with regard to the payment of stamp duty on such a transaction. According to my information the stamp duty is payable @ of the value of the property in Punjab in respect of freehold properties. This aspect can be verified from the Sub-Registrar's office in Ludhiana.

* The capital gain tax is not payable in case of property which is transferred by way of a gift.

* After the execution of the gift deed and its registration with the Sub-Registrar’s office, you will have to approach various authorities like the municipal corporation/committee, electricity department etc. for mutation of the house in the name of your son. The procedure for this aspect will have to be ascertained from these departments. The transfer process would be completed after the execution and registration of a gift deed. The mutation with various departments is a procedural aspect.

Construction deadline on plot allotted by development authority

Q. I bought a plot from the development authority at Phagwara. It was allotted on January 19, 2009. The payment was made in full but it is still lying vacant. I approached the authorities and asked them about the deadline of construction on the plot. They told me verbally that you pay the extension fee and the last day of completing the construction is December 31, 2014 otherwise the plot will revert back to the authority. I cannot make a construction in such a short period. Kindly let me know what is the last date of completion of the construction as per the Rules.

— Prahalad Rai

A.The period within which the construction is required to be completed is normally mentioned in the letter of allotment issued by the housing development agencies. I would, therefore, advise you to look up the allotment letter. In case the same is silent and/or the date has not expired it will be better to approach Development Authority for letting you know in writing, the date up to which the construction has to be completed. Normally such agencies do have an enabling provision whereby the extension is granted for the construction of a house by payment of some nominal charges. It is not possible for me to give you the date up to which the construction is allowable. It would be better to get the information in writing from the relevant development agency. 

Loss in property deal

Q.I am a retired CRPF officer and am currently working as Assistant Manager with a private company. My gross salary and other income for the F. Year 2013-14 (A.Y. 2014-15) is as under:

Gross Salary Rs 2,40,000

Interest from FDR with Bank Rs 5,820

Interest from TD with Post Office Rs 3,800

Pension from CRPF Rs 21,600 Rs 31,220

My savings are ~1,00,000/- u/s 80C (PPF, PF, LIP etc.)

Secondly, I had purchased a 100 sq. yd plot on 31.12.1993 for Rs 16,000 in my village and Rs 2,000 were paid as stamp duty. I spent (includes my savings and housing loan from HDFC/ICICI) approximately Rs 6,00,000 on the construction of the house over a period of time.

I sold said house in September 2013 for Rs 5,50,000 only. Can I claim capital loss? Can the set off loss be carried forward and adjusted against salary/interest income in future also?

Kindly advise and calculate my tax liability. — Pradeep Rai

A.Replies to your queries are given hereunder:

* On the basis of the facts given in the query the residential house property would be considered to be a long-term capital asset and capital loss, if any, arising on the sale thereof would be treated as a long-term capital loss. The same can be carried forward for a period of eight years but would be adjustable against any long-term capital gain arising in such years. Such loss can, therefore, not be set off against salary/ interest income.

* On the basis of the figures given by you your total income works out at Rs 1,71,220 after giving the effect of deduction under Section 80C of the Act. The tax payable thereon for assessment year 2014-15 would be nil as the income is below Rs 2,00,000, the maximum amount on which Income Tax is not payable by an individual who is not a senior citizen.

Should my father pay wealth tax?

Q.I want to know whether wealth tax is applicable to a property owner. Suppose my father is the owner of two residential houses located at two different cities in the same state. He also owns agricultural land situated within municipality limits. Now on what will the property wealth tax be applicable? And what is the exemption, if any? — Ranjit

A.According to the provisions of Wealth Tax Act, 1957, a residential house that has been let out for a minimum period of 300 days in a previous year as well as one house or part of a house belonging to an individual are not includible in the net wealth to be computed for the levy of the wealth tax. If both the residential houses are self- occupied, one of the residential houses would therefore come within the purview of the wealth tax. The agricultural land situated within the municipal limits would also be subject to wealth tax.



loan zone
S. C. Dhall ...
Should I pre-close loan to take a new one for second house?

Q.I am a 38-year-old doctor and my wife is also working. My dependents are my five-year-old daughter and my mother (65). I am planning to pre-close my existing home loan of Rs 12 lakh and buy a new house in Mumbai for Rs 70 lakh with a loan of Rs 60 lakh. My monthly contribution to EPF is Rs 5000.

My wife may stop working in a few months’ time. In such a scenario, would I still be able to meet all my goals?

— Prem Bansal

A.It is always good to make pre-payment on home loans only five years after getting the loan. Since your house has been let out, you should not close the loan now. For the property which is rented out, you can deduct the entire interest, paid from your gross income. Hence we suggest that you should reduce the loan amount for the new house and not pre-close the old loan. This way, even if your spouse stops working, you can reach all your goals.

Q.I am working inthe Indian Navy and am posted at Delhi. I have booked a flat in Mumbai. Can I get home loan from government recognised bank like SBI from Delhi? The SBI people have told me that I can get loan only from the place where I have booked the flat. Is it correct? 
— Avtar Singh

A.Most banks do not insist on such a policy even though this particular bank does. You can try and approach another lender. It is advisable to approach a bank that has branches in both the cities. Check the home loan comparator.

Q. I am an Air Force employee and have been allotted a dwelling unit in Ambala under the Air Force Naval Housing Board scheme. For this I took a loan of Rs 15 lakh from my employer, at interest rate of 8 per cent. I chose to pay back the loan through pre EMI option at 8 per cent fixed interest rate. The establishment has already disbursed the amount as per the installments demanded by the builder. I want to take more loan of ~12 lakh from an agency which can disburse the loan in the same fashion and charge me EMI on the amount disbursed as per the installments paid to the builder. Please suggest some options. 
— Shivan Lamba

A.Banks don’t have a provision to allow one person to take two loans for the same property. So you can’t take another loan and will have to arrange for funds from other sources.

Q.I had taken a home loan from Axis Bank two years ago. However, I had not taken a copy of the loan agreement from the bank at that time. Can I now ask the bank to send me a copy of the loan agreement? How important is it for me to have a copy of the loan agreement? 
— Asha Khanna

A.You can ask for a copy of the loan agreement It is important for you to have it so that you are aware of the terms and conditions of the loan. 



Demand in mid-segment remains high

The National Property Index (NPI) grew by 1 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 even though home-buyers preferred to be in the wait-and-watch mode due to the general elections. This was revealed in the PropIndex (Jan-Mar 2014) released by real estate portal "The year 2014 started with anticipation among real estate stakeholders concerning the 16thgeneral elections in the country. The elections kept the real estate market in the wait-and-watch mode. This was reflected in the National Property Index, registering a 1 per cent change in the Jan-Mar 2014 quarter," Sudhir Pai, Business Head, said.

According to the index capital values fell in all cities, except Pune. Over 30 per cent of the tracked localities registered a fall of 1-9 per cent. However, rental values rose by 2-16 per cent across India with over 50 per cent localities across cities registering a rise. City index values, computed as a ratio of number of listings to prices, rose by 1-3 per cent, indicating that buyers who purchased for regular rental returns were winners.

As for the demand the mid-segment range of Rs~ 30-50 lakh remained the preferred category, especially in Bangalore and Pune.

Premium luxury properties, however, remained oversupplied across cities despite a robust demand of over 20 per cent. Mumbai topped the chart with maximum demand for properties worth Rs1 crore and above, followed by Delhi and Gurgaon.

High-end properties worth Rs 2 crore and above remained more in demand in Delhi, Gurgaon and Mumbai. In all other cities luxury demand remained in the Rs 1 crore and above range.

In spite of the slow market the smaller markets showed movement in the first four months. Greater Noida showed growing demand for residential properties and offering several options in the affordable range.

“The formation of a new government is expected to infuse fresh life into the real estate market and improve home buyer sentiments. In the Jan-Mar 2014 quarter, property markets remained sluggish. However, robust demand from end-users arrested any significant change in property values,” says Jayashree Kurup, Content & Research Head,

NCR Trends


* Rental values rose in nearly 75 per cent localities. Of these, 35 per cent registered an increase of over 5 per cent

* Large housing units of 4BHK &Above worth over Rs 2 crore were more in supply than in demand, increasing the demand-supply gap in the last six months

* A small rise of 3-4 per cent was noted in capital values during the Jan-Mar 2014 quarter. Localities such as Greater Kailash-I, Safdarjung Enclave, Shivalik, Malviya Nagar and Panchsheel Enclave in South Delhi registered the maximum increase of 3-4 per cent


* Over 82 per cent localities recorded a rise between 2-16 per cent in the average rental values

* Rumours of resolution of litigations on the Dwarka Expressway led to it rising from the fifth to the third position in the chart of the top ten preferred localities for sale

* Golf-Course Road was given the thumbs down by consumers for both sale and rent because of the ongoing metro work along the stretch. This downgraded the locality preference by 2 points


*z Sectors 100, 137 and 143 along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and Sectors 74 and 78 posted over 25 per cent increase in the capital values in the last two years

* Delay in possession reduced the preference for Sector 128 by one position


* Upcoming new projects in Lal Kaun at low base price of ~2,600-3,300 per sq ft captured the buyer’s attention. This pushed up the locality in the top ten preference chart



Ground Realty
Jagvir Goyal.

Floors that dazzle

Floors of the house, when built in stone, need polishing. Polishing brings shine and smoothness and when done properly, produces a shine that remains intact for years. Let’s have a look at various points to be kept in mind during polishing of floors:

Type of floors: All marble floors need grinding and polishing. Be it Italian, Dungri, Makrana or any other type of marble, polishing is essential. Tiles are given final finish during manufacturing process itself and don't require any polishing at site. Granites are available both in pre-polished and unpolished form. Pre-polished granites just need cleaning except on the edges which need polishing at site. All unpolished granites too need polishing at site like marble.

Types of polish: Earlier, there used to be simple polishing of floors when grinding of floors used to be done by applying three carborandum stone blocks only, followed by application of wax polish to bring shine and smoothness to the floors. These days, no wax is used on the floors. Polishing is done by applying a number of discs in a sequence. These discs are also addressed as pads or grit blocks or abrasive discs etc. Many types of polishing like granite polishing, mirror polishing and diamond polishing is prevalent these days.

Simple polish: There were times when the floors were polished by applying just three cutting discs followed by the application of wax polish. First of all coarse grade carborandum stone no. 60 was applied. This was followed by fine grade carborandum stone no.120. Finally, the finest grade stone no. 320 was applied. Thereafter, the polishing gang would use oxalic acid or ready polish to finally complete the polishing job. This type of simple polishing method has almost vanished now.

Granite polish: This is the most common method of polishing used these days. It brings mirror like shine to the floors. The abrasive pads or discs used in this type of polishing are known by their number names. The number names are 0, 1, 2, 2A, 3, 4, 5, 5A and 6. For best results therefore, 9 disc applications are made.

Purpose of discs: Disc number 0 does the grinding and cutting of marble, giving it a fairly good level surface. Disc number 1 does fine grinding and removes any scratches produced on the marble by 0 number disc. Disc number 2 does smooth grinding and almost no scratches are visible now. Disc 2A makes the floor completely scratch free. Disc number 3 brings dull shine to the floor. Disc number 4 improves the colour and shine of the floor to a large extent. Disc number 5 does fine polishing of floors and clear reflection of tubelight is now visible. Disc 5A has a peculiar purpose. This disc has an acid-based coating. This acid in the abrasive disc reacts with marble to provide it with a hard and transparent layer that seals the marble against impregnation. Disc 6 finally finishes and cleans the marble surface to give it superfine mirror like shine.

Mirror Polish: Mirror polish is another name of granite polish. 'Mirror' is a tempting word that leads one to believe that the house will shine like a mirror. That's why, sometimes, the word mirror is added to both granite as well as diamond polishing. Often, the terminology granite mirror polishing and diamond mirror polishing is used.

Shape and look of discs: The discs for granite polish and diamond polish have a totally different look. Their shapes also vary. Granite or diamond polish discs or pads can be round, triangular, trapezoidal or of other shapes as per the requirement of grinding machine on which these are to be fitted. Diamond polish pads have small projections on them. The discs are normally supplied in sets of three as at one time, three discs together are to be fitted on the grinding machine. Whenever you inquire about the cost of discs, the rate mentioned by the seller is also meant for a set of three discs. While the discs for granite polish cost about Rs 150 to Rs 200 per set, diamond polish discs cost around Rs 300 to Rs 500 per set.

Polishing machines: The machines used for grinding and polishing of floors are different for granite and diamond polish. Further, a range of machines are available under each category and one can choose a machine having a higher horsepower, higher speed, light weight or heavy weight as per requirement at site. The choice of machine should be left to the polishing gang who shall examine the condition of marble used in flooring and decide the machine suitable for it to produce best results.

Precautions during polishing: Whenever the grinding and polishing of floors is in progress, water is used to act as a lubricant. One must take care that all the floor traps in the bathrooms, kitchen, front and back courtyards, terrace or anywhere else have been completely plugged by the plumber by inserting gunny bags and further sealed to disallow their opening. Lots of white coloured muck gets generated during first three operations. If this muck is discharged into the floor traps, then it can completely choke the traps and sanitary pipes. Clearly tell the grinding and polishing gang at the start of work to find ways to remove the muck and dirty water and not to touch any of the floor traps.

This column is published fortnightly

Diamond polish

Diamond polishing is a comparatively new type of polish that is being used these days. When done in proper style and sequence, as many as 14 different disc applications are done on the floors. Diamond polishing of floors is a costly affair. Not only are the discs costly but the labour charges are more than double the charges for granite polishing. Grinding and polishing machines for diamond polish are also different than those used for granite polishing.

Discs: Diamond polish discs are also known by number names. These number names are 60, 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1,000, 1,200, 1,500, 2,500, 3,000, 5,000, 8,000 and 12,000. Disc number 60 is applied first of all and disc number 12000 is the last one. In some cases, application of disc number 1,200 and 2,500 can be avoided as their application purpose is somewhat covered by disc number 1,000, 1,500 and 3,000. Thus in such a case the polishing gang makes12 disc applications instead of 14 applications.

Purpose of diamond polish discs: Disc number 60 does grinding and leveling of floor. Disc number 100 is for fine grinding and number 200 makes the scratches invisible. Disc number 400 makes the floor scratch free as even invisible scratches are removed. Disc number 800 and 1,000 are pre-polishing discs that help in achieving sharp final polish through subsequent disc applications. Disc number 1,200 and 1,500 ensure substantial improvement in color, sharpness and shine. Disc 3,000 is for fine polish, Disc 5,000 for extra fine polish and disc 8,000 and 12,000 for superfine polish leading you to hesitate and examine your footwear before stepping on such a sparkling floor.