Property transactions (sale and purchase of residential and commercial properties) in Greater Mumbai during January-March declined an average of 14.8 per cent, compared to 9.11 per cent during the corresponding period of the previous year. However, there was a rise of 11.72 per cent in leave and licence agreements, compared to 10.37 per cent in the year-ago period.
According data compiled by the state stamps and registration department, Mumbai taluka, which includes Colaba, Sion and Mahim, there were 811 transactions in January, against 899 in the year-ago period, 664 against 823 in February and 942 against 1,030 in March. Leave and licence agreements registered in January stood at 969, against 840 in the year-ago period, 898 against 824 in February and 1,113 against 995 in March.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior state government official told Business Standard, "The fall in property transactions in Greater Mumbai during January-March 2012 was largely due to higher prices, one per cent VAT (value-added tax), higher interest rates, stamp duty and the imposition of service tax.
Curiously, there was an increase in leave and licence agreements. The maximum number of leave and licence agreements were in Goregaon and Borivali area of north Mumbai, as the rent is lower here. For a Rs 1-crore residential flat in this region, the rent charged is Rs 20,000 a month. For a buyer of a flat priced at Rs 50 lakh, the monthly EMI comes to Rs 50,000." The official indicated that the government is in the midst of revising the stamp duty rates for leave and licence agreements in a bid to mobilize the much-needed additional resources.
In Borivali taluka, which covers western suburbs of Goregaon to Dahisar, there were 3,685 leave and licence agreements in January against 2,914 in the same period the previous year (a growth of 26.46%); 3,599 against 2,859 in February (25.88%) and 4,223 against 3,458 in March (22.12%). However, property transactions have fallen to 1,512 in January against 2,139 last year (-29.31%), 1,555 against 2,182 in February (-28.74%) and 2007 against 2,533 in March (20.77%).