MUMBAI: The rush of buyers in Mumbai to get properties registered before the state's new ready reckoner regime came into effect on January 1 was so heavy that the online registration system crashed on Wednesday. The website igrmaharashtra.gov.in of the department of registration and stamps continued in that state for over three hours.
Nevertheless, stamp duty revenue earned on the registrations in the last two days of 2014 was around Rs 280 crore, a record as it is the highest stamp duty collection over two days for the state in recent years. The number of property registrations in the two days was 22,530 in the state.
To everyone's surprise, the latest ready reckoner rate hike—14% on an average—by the state government is the lowest of recent years. the hike for Mumbai (municipal corporation area) is an average of 14.81%.
Ready reckoner rate is the base rate of property that determines stamp duty and registration charge collected by the government in the course of a property transaction. While stamp duty is 5% of the ready reckoner or market rate, whichever is higher, registration charge is likely to be 1% of the total value of a property from this year onwards. Till now, registration charge was fixed at Rs 25,000 per transaction on residential properties.
Shrikar Pardeshi, inspector general of registration and controller of stamps, said the collapse of the online system did not hamper transactions as the department extended working hours on Wednesday by four hours and allowed pending transactions—for which stamp duty had been paid—for registration on Thursday, January 1. He said those who have paid stamp duty can conduct registrations within the next four months. A department source said the rush for registrations is unnecessary because of the four-month window. "The rush is because of hype created by real estate agents and builders to ensure greater sale of properties," the source said.
Vinod Sampat, president, Registration Fee and Stamp Duty Payers' Association, said the hike will be hard on the common man. "Property prices are falling due to lack of demand. Increasing taxes will dampen the spirits of aspiring buyers further. Digesting the hike will be difficult for those who want to buy a new flat by selling an old one. That's because the selling price of the old flat is down due to falling rates while buying a new flat just became more expensive due to increasing taxes."