Levy differentiated property tax on homes: Chinese think tank


Beijing: An official Chinese think tank has suggested that China should levy property tax on homes with area more than 40 square metres per person to ease pressure on real-estate market.

China should expand its pilot property tax reforms beyond Shanghai and Chongqing and levy differentiated property tax on homes, a report titled 'Housing Security in the New Urbanisation Background' released by the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said.

It is reasonable to draw administrative measures to manage the property market at certain stages, but in the long run, economic and market measures should be applied to rationalise citizens' living space, Xinhua quoted the report as saying.

The major conflict for the Chinese property market is structural, with the biggest problems being that home prices are unaffordable and there are not enough low-priced, government-subsidised homes, said the report.

The Chinese government has repeatedly reiterated its stance on property market control and vowed to keep in place tightening measures like bans on third-home purchases, higher down payment requirements and property tax trials.

However, there have been concerns over the cooling property sector's impact on the broader economy, as property investment accounts for about 13 per cent of China's gross domestic output and one-fifth of the country's fixed-asset investment.

Housing sales rose 5.6 per cent year on year to 4.63 trillion yuan (USD 735 billion) in the first 10 months of the year, accelerating by 2.9 percentage points from the January-September period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.






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  • Wadia Group to take Bombay Realty project to Dubai

    Dubai: Business conglomerate Wadia Group, which has recently established its realty arm Bombay Realty, will bring its flagship project for the NRI community in Dubai at the Indian Property Show to be held between December 13-15, a company statement said.

    The Group's first fully integrated Mixed Use development in Mumbai known as the Island City Center (ICC) would be located in Dadar.

    Commenting on the project, Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, The Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Co Ltd said: "The Group has, around 70 acres of land in the heart of the city. With the launch of Mixed Use project 'The Island City Center' we are offering a lifestyle that provides the ability to live, work and play. All at one place."

    The Island City Center aims to provide a better quality of life to its residents, by saving them a couple of hours of commute every day, which they can then spend with their family and friends, he added.

    A development spread across 29 acres of land will consist of luxury residences, offices, 5-star hotel, serviced apartments, a high street, a mall, an international school and 6 acres of green landscape, he added.

    Durgesh Mehta, joint Managing Director, The Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing, said luxury housing is emerging as one of the most vibrant and dynamic real estate segments in India.

    "The growing demand for luxury housing can be attributed to the rise in the number of HNIs, the rapid pace of urbanisation, the influx of global lifestyle trends and fast-growing service industries propelling many middle-income group individuals into the HNIs bracket," he said.

    He added that NRIs are inclined toward luxury developments like these as they get used to luxury lifestyle in international cities like Dubai.

    According to Mehta, the recent fall in the value of the Indian rupee in the global financial markets has boosted Non-Resident Indian (NRI) buyers' interest in investing in luxury housing and encouraged most celebrated developers to launch projects with exceptional facilities.

    The project also features a 20:80 finance scheme (for a limited time) where one only pays 20 percent upfront and 80 percent on possession. The towers have also been approved by leading financial institutions, the statement said.








    Wadia Group to take Bombay Realty project to Dubai
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  • Dubai emerges as world’s strongest housing market

    The resurgence in the Dubai property market over the past year has seen it being ranked as the strongest housing market in the world, by Global Property Guide. The recently released independent report shows Dubai’s residential property index jump 13.46 per cent during the year, compared to a 1.8 per cent decline in 2011. During the same period, the report shows that the UK fell 3.97 per cent, Singapore 2.88 per cent and Tokyo by 1.94 per cent.

    Welcoming the report, Senior Vice President, DAMAC Properties, Niall McLoughlin said: “Even the steady and consistent growth to pricing we have seen in the past year in Dubai is truly impressive when placed alongside the international markets. While we still predict a more stable growth pattern through 2013, Dubai's property market is certainly again considered one of the best locations in world for real estate investment.”

    Supporting the sentiment of the report, real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle recently stated in the 2012 Middle East and North Africa Real Estate Investor Sentiment Survey the Dubai is now the favourite destination for in the region for overseas investors looking to boost their income.

    One of the key factors for international investors is the attraction of a tax-free system in Dubai for both the capital gains on any property sales and on rental yields.

    “"Many global investors are looking to spread the exposure of their portfolios and the Dubai property market is proving to be a key investment vehicle, not only for 'institutional investors’ but also for individuals who recognise the medium to long term gains available in a strengthen real estate market.” — TNS
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  • Realty hotspots abroad

    While investing in property, the thinking earlier was to invest in the city one settled in. With growth in the real estate sector taking off, investors began looking at other promising realty destinations in the country. As needs evolve, and with incomes rising, property investors have began to look at opportunities abroad.

    According to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) a person resident in India can acquire property abroad by way of gift or inheritance from a person residing outside India. The Indian resident can also buy immovable property outside India during the duration of his employment in that country.

    FEMA also allows the Indian resident the liberty to remit up to $200,000 per financial year, which also helps the person with cash much needed to buy the dream property outside India. That means a couple can invest $400,000 abroad. Let us examine three popular cities where Indians are buying property: Dubai, London and Singapore.

    DUBAI

    Dubai is an all-time favourite with Indians, owing to its proximity to India, as it is inflation-resistant, and the ease of buying property across all income levels. According to the Real Estate Investment Promotion and Management Centre at the Dubai Land Department, Indian investors have bought a total of 2,153 properties valued at Rs 5,670 crore (3.751 billion dirhams).

    Areas like Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai and Marina are among the country's most popular and upscale locations. A 1,500-sq ft apartment in Downtown Dubai costs Rs 3-4 crore.

    You need four main documents: a copy of your passport, proof of income for six months, bank statement for six months and credit history for 36 months. A buyer has to pay 1 per cent of the property price as registration charge. Loans are also available, but only for properties that have been constructed. The interest rates are higher at around 10-11 per cent, but are being lowered. The Real Estate Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates keeps a very strict check on the quality of construction, design and material, and the physical and social infrastructure, which is why the buyer also has complete confidence in real estate here.

    LONDON

    London has different rules for different boroughs. The prime central residential property prices average around £1.2 million. Though the demand properties is soaring, the supply is not keeping pace. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, the average price of a property in London is now £392,000. The UK is clearly an attractive location for international buyers from a business, education and property investment point of view.

    However, you need to be very careful and do extra research, as the demand is on all time high and houses are scarce, so you might end up paying more for something that does not match your expectations. However, the good news is that there is a pipeline of upmarket housing projects in planning, or already under construction with 15,500 units slated for delivery by 2021. Stamp duty, transfer duty and registration charges are the important indirect costs.

    To cash in on this situation, the State Bank of India is entering Britain's residential mortgage market, and will start to sell home loans through its 11-strong branch network and then through mortgage brokers from next year.

    SINGAPORE

    Singapore is a popular destination for professionals, especially those from the IT sector. However, property prices here have now slowed for eight consecutive quarters, as government measures to cool down the market have been effective.

    Since 1973, the Singapore government has imposed restrictions on foreign ownership of all private residential property, governed by the Residential Property Act. This act was amended in 2005 allowing foreigners to purchase apartments in non-condominium developments of less than six levels without the need to obtain prior approval. A foreign national needs prior approval of the Minister of Law before purchasing restricted residential property. Its best to engage the services of a realtor.

    In Singapore, properties are sold on either a freehold or leasehold tenure. You either can buy from the Housing Development Board (HDB), condominiums or landed property. A foreigner or Singapore Permanent Resident buying the first residential property including HDB flat would have to pay additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) at 5 per cent. If he owns an HDB flat and wants to upgrade to a private condominium unit, he will have to pay ABSD of 10 per cent as it will be his second property. Financing options too are available for foreigners.

    Points to remember

    Research the property laws, legal issues in that country, the particular city, especially concerning non-residents and non-citizens. Do factor in the frequency of travel to the city and check the residential formalities and regulations that will be effective once the property is yours. Go through a well-known and recognised property dealer/ firm which has offices in India, the location in question, as well as other places abroad. Research exchange rates, viable discounts, bargains and modalities of fund transfers and tax implications in that country.

    Be it for the purpose of a second home or for children during studies abroad or even a holiday getaway, buying property abroad is no longer a distant dream. All you have to do is choose carefully and explore well before taking the final decision.









    Realty hotspots abroad - Indian Express
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