The Budget 2018-19 could surprise pleasantly by including whole of the Real Estate sector into infrastructure status, after all the sector has gone through in the past 3-4 years; other factors that could / should happen in this Budget would be that :
- GST could cover entire sector, expanding beyond only under-construction apartments
- LTCG tax on REITs to be treated at par with equity investments (holding period of one year); this will improve investor interest in real estate
- The limit of Rs 2 lakhs imposed in last Budget to offset interest payouts has adversely impacted genuine middle-class buy-and-hold home investors – this should be increased or removed
- Finally, of the demand of 88mn homes in top 9 cities in India over next 10 years, 69mn is going to be from new urban migrants. One should bring “first-time buyer in a city” on same norms as “first-home buyer” in terms of interest rate subsidy etc, even with a price bracket of upto say, Rs 1 Cr.