In the first month after the Maharashtra government decided not to extend the stamp duty waiver on property registrations, as many as 10,136 properties were registered in state capital Mumbai.
This was compared to 17,728 units registered in March 2021 when the stamp duty waiver of 3 percent was available, registration data made available by Maharashtra’s Department of Registration and Stamps indicated.
This is around a 43 percent decline in just about a month. However, the number of units registered in April 2021 was up 70 percent compared to the units registered in April 2019 (5,940 units), an analysis by Propstack suggests. There were zero registrations in April 2020 due to the complete nationwide lockdown amid the first outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
In February 2021, 10,170 units were registered; in January this year 10,412 units were registered. December and November 2020 saw registration of 19,581 and 9,301 units, respectively, the state’s registration data indicated.
On August 26, the Maharashtra government had decided to temporarily reduce stamp duty on housing units from 5 percent to 2 percent until December 31, 2020. Stamp duty from January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021, was at 3 percent.
Properties worth Rs 10,275 crore were sold in April 2021, up by 12 percent compared to Rs 9,200 crore worth of units sold in April 2019, the Propstack analysis said. However, this amount is 65 percent lower compared to March 2021 when properties worth Rs 29,166 crore were sold.
“This drop is on expected lines as the stamp duty increased from 3 percent to 5 percent in April 2021 and several homebuyers decided to pre-pone their purchase decision,” said Sandeep Reddy, founder, Propstack.
"Also, it's a given that several transactions, especially in the period January-March 2021 where stamp duty was already paid, also got registered in April 2021. Our estimate of actual registrations (excluding transactions where stamp duty is paid) is around 6,850 which is basis assumption of Rs 1.5 crore average ticket size. This is around 10-15 percent higher than the pre-pandemic average transactions of around 6,000 per month," he added.
The stamp duty collection for April 2021 stood at Rs 514 crore which is a 12 percent increase from the collection in April 2019 (Rs 460 crore). The registrar’s office collected Rs 875 crore in March 2021, Rs 352 crore in February 2021 and Rs 305 crore in January 2021. The total collection stood at Rs 681 crore in December 2020, according to the registration data.
From April 2021 when stamp duty was back to 5 percent, Mumbai contributed to Rs 514 crore of stamp duty collection which is 12 percent higher compared to April 2019 and 41 percent lower compared to March 2021 when the stamp duty was at 3 percent, the analysis said.
As for the average ticket size of the housing unit, it stood at Rs 1.02 crore in the month of April 2021. It was Rs 1.65 crore in March 2021 and Rs 1.15 crore in February 2021. The number was Rs 1.74 crore in December 2020. The ticket size in April 2019 stood at Rs 1.55 crore.
The second wave of COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding, property registrations in Mumbai swelled in March 2021 as the unprecedented rush among the homebuyers continued in the backdrop of all-time low home loan rates, attractive price discounts and reduction in stamp duty charges.
Some transactions between January and March 2021 saw stamp duty being paid in advance, but the property getting registered in April 2021.
In December 2020, properties worth Rs 34,000 crore were sold in Mumbai alone on the back of the 2-percent stamp duty cut, many of them in the luxury segment. Bankers, stockbrokers and even industrialists came forward to close big-ticket real estate deals in the city.