Mar 1 2016 | Budget Talk

Kishor Pate, CMD, Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd

This Budget could have done a lot more for the real estate sector. However, there were some positives. The fact that the annual housing rent reduction limit has been increased from Rs. 24000 to Rs. 60000 could lead to an almost immediate uplift for rental housing across the major cities. This can also potentially encourage the sentiment for home ownership in the long run. Also, first-time home buyers have been given the benefit of an additional deduction of Rs. 50000 on home loan interest for loans not exceeding Rs. 35 lakh, where the value of the house is no more than Rs. 50 lakh. This will result in improved home buying sentiment in smaller cities with lower housing costs, such as Pune. An improvement in sentiment will also be seen in the cheaper far suburbs of the metros. However, this deduction is not sufficient to increase the sentiment much for first-time home buyers in the central parts of the metros like Mumbai, where housing prices are exceedingly high and such an exemption makes little to no difference in the burden on home buyers. The fact that the market indices took a nosedive immediately after the budget announcement more or less reflects the way sentiment in the housing sector has gone. However, if the RBI announces a cut in interest rates on the heels of the reduced fiscal deficit announced by the Finance Minister, it could be a day saver.