Mumbai property registrations spike continues, sets historic highs in December

A combination of all-time low housing loan rates, price discounts and, more importantly, a reduction in stamp duty has bolstered property registrations in Mumbai, the country’s commercial capital, to set a historic high in December.

The unprecedented rush among homebuyers to register their transactions continued even on the last day of the year, pushing the total number of deals up 204% from a year earlier to 19,552 in December until 7pm on Thursday, showed data from the office of the Inspector General of Registration in Maharashtra.

This is 330% higher than the pre-Covid-19 month of February and up 210% from November. Revenue collection from these registrations rose nearly 25% from December 2019 to about Rs 678 crore despite the reduction in stamp duty rates announced by the state government. Stamp duty revenue was Rs 288 crore in November.

ET had reported on December 18 that the performance in December had already broken all the monthly records in the first half itself. In fact, November’s performance was the highest in eight years.

“The rush is historic, and all of our 26 offices have been witnessing the same trend over the last few weeks. Many homebuyers have been keen to pay the complete stamp duty on the executed documents today to be able to register the document within next four months without any additional charges and get the benefit of the government’s decision,” Shridhar Dube-Patil, deputy inspector general of registration, Mumbai division, told ET.

According to him, the total registration number might cross 20,000 based on the challans prepared so far.

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Meanwhile, property registrations across Maharashtra in December totalled 2.55 lakh deals till Thursday evening, with a stamp duty collection of Rs 2,204 crore. In December 2019, the state had witnessed 1.09 lakh registrations and revenue of Rs 1,786 crore.

In August, the Maharashtra government had announced a reduction in stamp duty on property registrations to 2% for transactions between September 1 and December 31, from 5% earlier.

The stamp duty will be 3% for agreements to be registered between January 1 and March end.

Following this announcement, real estate transactions in Mumbai, Pune and other urban pockets of the state witnessed a sharp jump. The registrar had to keep all 26 Mumbai offices open on all Saturdays to accommodate the higher number of deals.

The government has also started to operate registration offices in two shifts. They were having only one shift since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Mumbai, all registration offices now commence operations at 7 AM and close at 9 PM, as against the earlier timing of 10AM to 5:30 PM.

Apart from helping convert pent-up demand in the mid-income and affordable segment, the stamp duty reduction has been driving several large-ticket transactions as well in the city, and the trend is expected to continue.


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