Bringing down the property circle rates at this point would have made more sense-Bhushan-Sumit Woods

Bringing down the property circle rates at this point would have made more sense, says Bhushan Nemlekar, Director, Sumit Woods Ltd. In an exclusive interview to, Nemlekar talks about RERA, women participation in property buying process, etc. Here are the excerpts:

How do you expect FY22 to perform, given the stamp duty cut and low rates scenario?

Yes, FY 2022 should be a better year for aspirants as home loans are at all-time low. Also, Maharashtra Government has given its support to the real estate sector whenever needed in the form of stamp duty cut and 50% reduction in premiums. Although the stamp duty is discontinued, the momentum is still expected to continue steadily as in the pandemic the customers have realized the importance of homeownership. The developers too are helping the genuine prospects with discounts or flexi-payment plans that will ease the financial burden of the buyers.

Your view on the recent 1% stamp duty concession for women homebuyers in maharashtra and its likely impact.

This is a good move by the Government of Maharashtra which would support the women to buy homes on their own names. Women are the key decision-makers when it comes to property buying. The decision will not only encourage the women buyers but in a way this will elevate the social & economic status of the women in our society.

Maharashtra is expected to release new circle rates soon for FY22, what is your expectation?

In the recent announcement, the circle rates have been kept the same which is a satisfactory move by the State Government. The rates were already hiked in the month of September 2020 on an average by 1.74% in Maharashtra. The highest hike was in the Pune district at 3.91%, while for Mumbai, the average hike was 0.6%. After discontinuing the stamp duty benefit, bringing down the circle rates at this point would have made more sense as it would have helped developers to bring down property prices to some extent indirectly benefitting the homebuyer.    

Is this the right time to invest in commercial real estate?

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the existing future of work trends as millions of people rapidly adjusted to working from home as offices closed during the lockdown. We saw the trend continue as the uncertainty of the pandemic still remains. As the new situation of work from home, people are adopting new hybrid models where they want to have small boutique offices near their homes. So a small self-content boutique office shall be in demand in the near future. The large commercial investments will have a major impact going forward for at least 2-3 years now.

Do you think fractional ownership is a new reality for Indians?

The fractional ownership or the REITS are the thing of the future. It will play a very important role as it will give better returns than the fixed deposits. The interest rates are at an all time low which makes the REITs very attractive as there is a possibility of higher returns.

How has RERA functioned, met its objective of addressing the real estate consumer grievances in the past four years?

RERA has done a great job for the Real Estate Industry; it has completely changed the mindset of the buyers. It has brought a much-needed transparency, trust & a time bound approach for completion of projects. We feel that it has provided the real estate consumers a proper forum to address their issues & problems and a proper channel to get them resolved.