Noida and Ghaziabad being two major real estate destinations, realtors in the two cities had high hopes from the union budget. But major players associated with the confederation of real estate developers association of India (CREDAI) have termed the annual exercise disappointing.
Pankaj Bajaj, president, CREDAI-NCR, said, "It is a disappointing budget for middle-class homebuyers. We had made numerous representations to the ministry to bring down the cost of loans."
"Instead the real estate sector will have to grapple with even higher rates of service and excise taxes. This will lead to increase in cost of construction by Rs 50 to Rs 100 per sqft," he said.
"We had also hoped that some sort of tax breaks would be given for extremely weaker section and low-income group. Nothing significant has been done to ease the liquidity crunch of either the developer or the homebuyer," he said.
RK Arora of Supertech said, "Overall it's not a welcome budget. The increase of service tax and the excise duty on construction material would directly impact customers. The ministry has once again not identified real estate as an industry."
"The budget has allowed overseas borrowing for affordable housing. This can boost affordable housing," he added.
Anil Sharma of Amrapali Group said, "Interest subvention for housing loan up to Rs 15 lakh for houses costing only Rs 25 lakh is not up to the realty sector's expectations."
Sailesh Gupta of Lotus Infra Projects Pvt. Ltd said, "Foreign investment has been relaxed in affordable housing, but service tax has been raised from 10% to 12%." Ashwani Prakash of Paramount Group of Companies said, "Increase in loan limits was expected and should have been allowed to give respite to the real estate sector."
Anuj Kumar Choudhary of Panchsheel Buildtech said, "Granting industry status to real estate would have meant easier loans."