Though the pre-election budget exercise is slated to be a vote on account, real estate sector hopes for getting industry status and some stimulus from the finance minister.

Here are some wish lists:

Badal Yagnik, Chief Executive Officer, Colliers India: The real estate community looks at the upcoming budget with optimism, seeking a strategic roadmap that aligns well with evolving needs of stakeholders including end-users developers & investors. Housing, infrastructure development, sustainability and digitization will remain at the core of the budget, which will go a long way in supporting real estate growth across segments in long term.

EV infrastructure, renewable energy and green financing will continue to remain in focus creating a strong base for a sustainable future. Incentivisation of green buildings through minimum alternate tax or tax breaks similar to infrastructure sector will be particularly beneficial.

Meanwhile, retail investors are calling for additional rationalising of the capital gains tax structure. The Union Budget 2024-25 should explore initiatives to boost greater retail engagement in REITs and InvITs. Moreover, alterations to personal tax slabs have the potential to fuel consumption across various sectors, including real estate assets and allied sectors.”

Piyush Bothra, Co-Founder and CFO, Square Yards: Homebuyers are anticipating increased tax benefits in the upcoming budget. One key expectation is to elevate the current Rs 2 lakh tax rebate on housing loan interest under Section 24 of the Income Tax Act to a minimum of Rs 5 lakh. This adjustment is crucial to bolster housing demand, especially within the affordable housing segment.

Additionally, a reassessment of the price bracket for affordable housing is necessary, particularly in cities like Mumbai, where the current limit of Rs 45 lakh is impractical. Raising this limit to Rs 75 lakh or beyond will significantly benefit a broader spectrum of homebuyers, fostering affordability and driving housing demand.

Furthermore, a reduction in the prevailing 20% capital gains tax is recommended. This move will incentivize investments, subsequently fostering increased economic growth and stability.

Mohit Jain, Managing Director, Krisumi Corporation: Single Window Clearance, Industry Status and Increase in tax exemption for housing loans are some of the steps, we expect in the upcoming budget.The exemption limit on housing loans should be enhanced to Rs 5 lakhs. Besides, the Government should continue its thrust on the infrastructure as it has multiplier effect on the economy as a whole and real estate too stands to benefit from it, the upsurge in Gurugram real estate market is a case in point.

Prashant Rao, Managing Director, Poulomi Estates, a Hyderabad based real estate developer: We strongly appeal to the Finance Minister to thoroughly consider increasing the income tax deduction applicable to home loan repayments. The current deduction of Rs 2 lakh against home loan interest has remained unchanged for the past decade, with the last adjustment being an increase of Rs 50,000 in 2014.

Considering the rise property prices, the borrowing amounts have escalated substantially, besides that interest rates has gone up as well, resulting in higher EMIs for homebuyers. It is imperative for the government to consider doubling the home loan interest deduction limit to Rs 4 lakh. This measure would provide substantial relief to potential homebuyers and contribute to an economic boost.

Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder and Chairman of Signature Global (India) Ltd.: We eagerly await the forthcoming budget announcement, anticipating transformative measures to invigorate the Indian real estate sector. Emphasizing the long-overdue grant of Industry status to the Real Estate sector, we expect it to catalyze investments and streamline regulations.

Urging the extension of Infrastructure status to affordable housing, we advocate for a solution where the sector receives input tax credit benefits and reduced GST rates on construction materials reduced to single digit. Additionally, we implore the government to institute a Single Window Clearance system for expeditious project execution.

Furthermore, the government should relaunch the CLSS scheme, expanding affordable housing criteria to INR 75 lakhs and increasing the carpet area to 90 square meters. These strategic measures are envisioned to fortify the real estate sector and contribute significantly to the nation’s economic resurgence.