Investing In Urban Residential Real Estate In India


The travails of the Western world might put a question mark on the expression “as safe as houses”. but in India, urban real estate continues to make sense as an investment option.

Here are the reasons:-

First:In the US, the average members in a household are 2.6. In India, there is an estimated shortage of 21 million housing units and unless there is a dramatic increase in supply, the shortage is  not likely to come down because there is  a sizeable young population adding to the demand .Also Indians will continue to migrate to cities and 50% of the country will be urbanized by 2044.As families often resort to step-migration many TierII towns will do as well as the major cities as investment destinations.

Second:The high rates of inflation and wage rises are bound to make houses more expensive to build in future.So residential real estate investments are bound to hold their value and possibly continue to give good capital gains.

Third:For those with  high disposable incomes and tax liabilities, real estate investment makes an interesting proposition.Section 80C of the Income Tax Act allows an amount up to Rs. 1 Lakh to be deducted from a taxpayer’s income if it is invested in qualified instruments.Included in this list is principal repayment for home loans.There is only one condition here – principal repayment can be considered as a valid investment under section 80C only if it is made for a self occupied house. That is, the taxpayer should be living in the house for which he/she is making the principal repayment.The only exclusion is if the house is not in the city in which the tax-payer is living and working – in which case he/she can claim the principal repayment as an investment under sec 80C even if the house is not self occupied.So if a person works and stays in Mumbai, and has another house in Mumbai for which he/she is paying the EMI, he/she can’t claim the principal repayment under section 80c for this other house. But if he/she is working and staying in Pune, and has a house in Mumbai for which he/she is paying the EMI, he/she can claim the principal repayment under section 80c. This is true even if the person has rented out the house.Another important point is that there is no restriction on the number of houses for this benefit – the only restriction is that the house should be self occupied.Thus, if a person  is working and staying in Pune in his/her own house for which he/she pays EMI, and the person has a house in Mumbai for which he/she is paying the EMI as well, he/she can claim the principal repayment under section 80c for both the houses as he/she is satisfying the “self-occupied” rule (with the allowed exception). This is true even if he/she has  rented out the Mumbai house.Moreover,the interest the person pays as the part of EMI is considered an expense under the head “Income from House Property”, and is deductible up to a maximum of Rs. 1.5 Lakhs under Section 24 of the Income Tax Act.The interest amount would appear as a negative amount under the head “Income from House Property”, and would thus be deductible from the taxpayer’s total income under Sec 24.Even if the person  has any other income from the house (like rent), that income would get reduced by the amount of interest paid.The best part is that there is no restriction of “self occupied property” for claiming the tax break on interest paid under sec 24. In fact, if the person has rented out his/her house, all interest paid (even if it is more than Rs. 1.5 Lakhs) is deductible from the rent received.And just like the principal repayment, there is no restriction on the number of houses for this benefit – the only restriction is the limit of Rs. 1.5 Lakhs. Thus, if you are paying the EMI for 3 houses, you can claim interest paid for all the 3 houses under Sec 24 as long as it doesn’t exceed Rs. 1.5 Lakhs.Further,if there is more than one income-tax payee in the household,the home loan can be taken in their  joint names so that the tax benefit (for both principal repayment and interest paid) would be available to all of them if the house is also in joint name.The tax benefit is available in the ratio of EMIs paid – thus, if person 1 pays 40% of the EMIs, and person 2 pays 60% of the EMIs, the tax benefit would also be available in the proportion of 40% & 60%.




About Keerthika Singaravel

22 Responses to Investing In Urban Residential Real Estate In India

  1. Neeta says:

    What is your opinion on the residential prices in India today? I think they are going to fall in the next 6-12 months!

    • Depends on what you mean when you speak of residential prices.If you are speaking of buying from developers especially in the pre or under construction stage,you could get a definite off from the brochure price,perhaps even 25%.Just go to the direct sales agents.If its a resale house,unless its a distress sale by the owner and you are paying cash upfront,you are unlikely to see a sizable discount on properties with clean titles.Island city prices are unlikely to crash.At worst MMR prices will stagnate and homes will lie vacant for longer.To cap prices and maintain affordability,homes will just shrink.
      I observe that in each locality builders are making an effort to construct premium housing with bells and whistles.I doubt that the trend will halt. Indians are becoming richer and aspirations are rising,just look around and see the luxury cars and clothed people are indulging in.And Indians of all classes still see the virtue in splurging on homes instead of clothes.
      Like gold, the wait for lower prices might be long and the danger is that people postponing the acquisition of their first home with a mortgage might lose earning years and then struggle to qualify for loans and/or fail to pay them off before retirement.So if its a house for self consumption,just buy one as soon as you can.If you are thinking of investing in houses,look for cash flow positive properties and make sure that you have the resources to pay out of pocket if calculations go wrong.
      As in everything, a long only position on a marginal asset,is a foolish idea.

  2. Heroine Sy says:

    Thanks for this good post.

  3. Ace Aspire says:

    Excellent write up.

  4. sachi says:

    This is the best investment in today’s world. Investing in an urban area has a lot of advantages and return are guaranteed for sure!

  5. Thanks for Sharing!!

    Nice Blog

  6. To be successful in real estate, it is important to know one’s market. Oftentimes, relators who are successful in one market, such as large-scale commercial properties, will assume that their success will translate to other markets, such as small corporate properties. Doing the research to fully understand any new market that a relator is considering getting involved in is essential to sucess.

  7. Nice article

    Real Estate Investment in India,specially in cities like Mumbai & Delhi have doubled, tripled and also quadrupled in many places. This however happens only in certain patches. For example from 2005 to 2011 Indian Real Estate Prices
    especially residential prices in Mumbai in most pockets have sky rocketed. Flats and apartments in new buildings as well as in old buildings have raised almost 4-5 times their original costs.

  8. Khyatirealities says:

    Today, I visited your website and found it to be very informative. I’m highly pleased to see the comprehensive resources being offered by your site.
    Thanks to you for the great work!

  9. Now the real estate sector in India is attracting huge investments. Also the private equity players are considering big investments, banks are giving loans to builders, and financial institutions are floating real estate fund

  10. The population of the Indian urban lands is projected to increase by more than 40% by 2010, thus putting an additional pressure on housing properties in these cities.

Please Leave Me Your Comments!I Love Reading Them!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: