The tough task of buying a home in the city is set to get a tad easier with the government planning to reduce the stamp duty and registration fees.

House Stamp duty
Reducing ambiguity: The stamp duty for the three categories will also be levied based on the market rate instead of the ready reckoner rate. Representation Pic

In the draft housing policy, the government has created three categories of homes with carpet area of up to 70 sq m (approximately 750 sq ft) — Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Lower Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG, see box). For these three categories, the stamp duty will be reduced from 5 per cent to 1, 2 and 3 per cent respectively.

Also, instead of levying the duty on the higher amount between the market rate (the rate at which the buyer purchases the flat) and the ready reckoner rate (government rates used to calculate taxes), buyers will now have to pay stamp duty on the market rate.

Thus, currently, if a buyer buys a flat which has a market value of R1 crore, but the ready reckoner rate is Rs 1.5 crore, he has to pay 5 % of Rs 1.5 crore, which amounts to Rs 7.5 lakh. After the housing policy comes into effect, however, he will have to pay 1, 2 or 3 per cent of Rs 1 crore, which would amount to Rs 1 lakh, Rs 2 lakh, and Rs 3 lakh respectively based on whether the house falls in the EWS, LIG or MIG category.

The registration fees across all three categories has also been reduced from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,000. The stamp duty and registration norms will, however, remain unchanged for flats in the High Income Group (HIG) category, which is for flats above 750 sq ft.

Experts say that stamp duty and registration fees are significant expenses for a home buyer, irrespective of whether
a new house is being purchased from a builder or is one that is being resold. This documentation also officially establishes the ownership of the flat.

They say that the reduction in stamp duty and registration fees will make homes up to 750 sq ft more affordable and give builders incentive to construct more such houses.

The draft housing policy, which has been prepared by the state housing department, has been submitted to the housing minister and is expected to be tabled in the Cabinet this week.