A study report by Gulathi Institute of Finance and Taxation, a government institution, states that Kerala imposes the highest stamp duty in the country and if this is not reduced, the real estate sector will not be able to grow. Stamp duty is 8% of the fair value on the transfer of land, buildings, etc. In other states, the rate is 3%-7%. Kerala should make it at least 3% – 5%. Instead, discrepancies in the fair value of land should be resolved. Gulati Institute was commissioned by the Kerala Real Estate Regulatory Authority (K-RERA) to study the real estate sector in Kerala.
Other recommendations and findings
The government needs a policy in the real estate sector. Focusing on housing projects for the poor, the government should also undertake low-cost housing projects for the middle-income group with public-private partnerships. The number of high-rise buildings is increasing in urban areas. Given the high land prices and high population density, this is a suitable trend for Kerala. Half of the newly registered buildings in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation are flats. The number of vacant houses increased from 7.8% in 2001 to 10.6% in 2011. It is only 7.5% in the country. It should be checked whether the vacant buildings can be used for projects like work near the home of the government. On the one hand, houses are lying vacant while on the other hand, only 46% SCs and 38% SCs have habitable houses. 11% of Scheduled Castes and 16% of Scheduled Tribes live in dilapidated houses. According to the report, the builders have to obtain 16 permits from various government departments to complete the construction of the building and this often creates delays in the completion of the project.