TWo LaKH unsoLD DWeLLinG units croWD DeLHi-ncr
Greater Noida has the maximum inventory, followed by Gurugram.
There are about 2 lakh unsold dwelling units in Delhi-NCR ( National Capital Region), which is the maximum among all the major cities in India. In Delhi-NCR, Greater Noida has the maximum share of unsold inventories, followed by Gurugram.
Also, the region has witnessed a 3-5% decrease in average per-square foot property prices over the last one year. The average price was over Rs 4,650 in the fourth quarter last year. However, this has come down to Rs 4,500-4,550. Real estate experts say that prices are likely to remain stagnant for the next few quarters, according to a report prepared by Anarock Property Consultants.
Accordingly, there are 1.80 lakh unsold inventory in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Bengaluru (1.04 lakh), Pune (97,000), Kolkata (49,000), Chennai (28,000) and Hyderabad (27,000).
Factors like huge unsold inventory, recent cases of developers’ bankruptcy or insolvency and the large number of stalled projects have made buyers sceptical about the real estate market. What has added to the problem is the delay in execution and dilution of RERA (Real Estate Regulation & Development Act), which has acted as a dampening factor for buyers’ confidence and, therefore, prices are unlikely to increase in the near future, says the report.
“Regarding the price decrease, there are several reasons like excessive delay in project construction and possession, which has hurt buyers’ sentiments, leading to subdued demand. Moreover, there are many projects which have been stalled due to agitations and litigation issue,” says Anuj Puri, chairman of Anarock Property.
On the contrary, the unsold residential property inventory has declined rapidly in South India as compared to other parts of the country. The research findings say that the unsold inventory declined by 21%, 20% and 15% in Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru respectively from 2016. With an overall unsold inventory decline of only 8% in the top seven cities, South Indian cities have bucked the trend. While in 2017, the supply was down by 59% across these seven cities, compared to 2016 additions, these South Indian cities registered an average decline of 75%.
According to Puri, one of the key reasons for this decline was the restricted supply of fresh projects in these cities. The fine equilibrium which developers have achieved in terms of restricting new launches and focusing on clearing unsold units in the end-user driven markets has been a defining factor in South India.
With fundamental growth drivers intact and rising demand for office spaces, these cities are likely to make a faster comeback in the residential segment as well, when compared to their counterparts in the West, North and East India, he said. The Income Tax (I-T) department has again started the process of sending notices to 149 Indians—out of the 500 names that had appeared in the Panama Papers’ expose last year—as these individuals are yet to file their replies despite getting repeated I-T notices, I-T sources have said.
According to a senior I-T official, the tax department had already sent notices to 386 individuals named in the Panama Papers, but out of these, only 180 individuals admitted to owning an offshore entity in tax havens. The I-T department’s investigation had also revealed that 57 individuals did not even follow the basic Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines in place for carrying out any such investment abroad, while 149 individuals did not even bother to file reply to the I-T notices.
Surabhi Ahluwalia, spokesperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), told The Sunday Guardian: “The investigations against all 386 individuals are on and so far, the I-T department has not given clean chit to any individual named in the Panama Papers. In many cases of offshore entities, the investigation is already on the fast track.”
The fresh notices are being sent at a time when, almost a year-and-a-half later, the ICIJ has come up with another similar global investigative report, the Paradise Papers, which has exposed the offshore activities of over 700 Indians, besides others from across the globe. The names in the Paradise Papers include Amitabh Bachchan, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP R.K. Sinha, corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt’s wife, and Vijay Mallya, among others.
“The I-T department is closely monitoring the progress in the ongoing investigation (into the Panama Papers’ expose) and it has also started scrutinising the names of individuals appearing in the Paradise Papers’ expose. The I-T department has directed its investigation units spread across the country, to take note of the recent Paradise Papers expose and incorporate the facts in their investigation,” Ahluwalia said. “The I-T department is already probing these exposes separately, but on the direction of the Ministry of Finance, a multi-agency investigative group, headed by the chairman of the CBDT, has also been formed to carry on a detailed probe into the exposes,” Ahluwalia added.
A senior CBDT official told The Sunday Guardian: “While the income tax department will investigate the individuals named in Paradise Papers for tax evasion, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will examine the disclosure of funds of their firms. The role of the Enforcement Directorate in the probe will be to investigate the part involving violations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in the exposes, whereas the Financial Investigation Unit will investigate the channel of money transfers used by these individuals in offshore investments.”
“The I-T department is also preparing to send letters of request to countries like Malaysia, Switzerland, the UK and British Virgin Islands, seeking more details of some of the individuals. In the past, the department has sent several letters and had received good response from these countries,” the same CBDT official cited above said.
A boy covers his face in Delhi, on Friday, as winter descends on the national capital.