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Has Real Estate Projects Been Affected By GST?

The year 2017 had seen its ups and downs with the advent of demonetization itself. Before even, we saw the face of stability, sales, and launch of new homes went down because of more focus on under construction projects by the developers. The real estate saw a further downfall when the government introduced a 12% GST on under construction real estate projects along with other goods and services. However, the only ray of hope was seen when the leading developers increased their market share every 3 months and developers and investors from Mumbai and Pune contributed more than 45% on demand and supply of the whole country. The GST has had its impact on all sectors and here we discuss how it can affect your dream of moving into a new home.

Impact of GST on Under Construction and Luxury Real Estate Projects

  • Ongoing residential construction services are subjected to 12% tax with total input tax credit (ITC) and are non-refundable in case of surplus ITC. Developers in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh can expect improvement in margins (up to 12% from 10-11%) due to the availability of input cost credits provided there is no price revision in future. The top real estate builders in Kolkata, who do not fall under these regions may increase their property prices by 6% with no input credit available to them.
  • In case the credits are passed on completely by the developers, the base price is expected to come down and the home buyers are the one to gain from this under the GST rule. Although stamp duties will be applicable in case of both under construction and completed projects.
  • Property under the luxury real estate projects are subjected to 12% ITC and is not adequate to bring down the tax liability due to overhead taxes. Only the basic construction cost is supposed to lower by a very thin margin in case of luxury projects.

Impact of GST on Ready Properties

Ready properties for sale can wave off the GST only if the OC for the project has been established. According to a report from CRISIL, excise duty and VAT paid by a developer was different for every state. This disparity has been sorted out by imposing 28% and 18% GST on cement and steel and 28% on paint and other white goods. This has led to 12% tax on the final product. The tax amount applicable to the land and the entire cost is 12% which makes it easier for the developers to avail the input credit. The home buyers are thus relieved of the GST liability.

However, the developer has to pay the GST on the complete project and the input credit is only claimed on the construction cost. This causes a gap of 30% which the builder in order to bridge will raise the price of the property whether or not you choose to buy a ready-to-move-in or an under construction property.

What to expect?

  • After the demonetization in India last year, many potential buyers were expecting a drop in real estate prices which wasn’t happening.
  • With 2018 budget, buyers can expect reduced stamp duty rates and home loan rates. If the Government looks deeper into the matter and realigns the stamp duty rates with the GST rates or waives off stamp duty rates, the price of property an witness a subtle fall which is beneficial for home buyers in 2018.
  • Presently under the GST regime, real estate is applicable for 18% tax along with only 1/3rd abatement for land. Since the share of land in metro cities is more than half of the total project cost, it is not wrong to vouch for increment on abatement of land to 50%.

Government Plans for Real Estate Projects-2022

The ‘Housing For All By 2022’ venture by the Government targets at delivering 10 million houses out of which 95% is to be constructed for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Lower Income Groups (LIG). People are expecting lowered tax rates from 18% to 12% GST on property purchase with abatement for land raised to 50% hence bringing down the tax rates to further 6% GST. This program can prove of huge advantage to the actual cause of the project by the year 2022. For those looking forward to purchasing new residential projects in Kolkata, can hope for a better scope in the coming 2 years.

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