January 16 Residential property registrations in Greater Kolkata registered a growth of around 64 per cent at 44,940 units during the calendar year 2021 compared to the previous year. Nearly 56 per cent of these units were registered since the reduction of the stamp duty in July 2021.

According to the latest report by real estate consultancy Knight Frank India, the near two per cent stamp duty rebate had resuscitated the city’s residential real estate sector in the second half of the year at a time when the sector battled Covid -19 induced economic uncertainties. The registration data is for registered residential sales documents and includes transactions in both the primary and secondary markets.

After a brief lull in November 2021 due to festivals, there has been a significant recovery in housing registrations as per December 2021 statistics.

“December 2021 recorded a 248 per cent month-on-month growth in the number of residential sales deeds registered. Whilst there is still a 10 per cent YoY decline compared to December 2020, there has been strong growth on an MoM basis. The stamp duty cut extension has been acting as a catalyst for transaction closures,” the report said.

With the registration offices operational and the extension of the stamp duty cut window to January 31, 2022, is known to prospective home buyers, the buoyancy is back in the market. Residential sale registrations in Q4 2021 largely remained at par with Q4 2020. The lull in November 2021 was balanced by the October numbers and the subsequent recovery in December, culminating in only a minor two per cent YoY decline.

According to Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank, the property registrations are likely to remain healthy during the current month as it is the last month to avail discount on stamp duty. However, the possible mobility restrictions due to rising Omicron virus cases will impact the property registration activity in the first month of the New Year.

In terms of unit sizes, apartments up to 46 sq m (0-500 sq ft), witnessed 62 per cent YoY degrowth in December 2021, while those of 47-92 sq m (501-1,000 sq ft) and 93 sq m and above (1,001sq ft and above) registered 67 per cent and 73 per cent YoY growth respectively.

It is not surprising that apartments above 46 sq m (500 sq ft) have attained a high double-digit percentage growth over Dec 2020 in Greater Kolkata. “The pandemic has rendered bigger apartments preferable amongst homebuyers across India and the same trend is playing out in Greater Kolkata as well. Prospective homebuyers have shown a greater inclination to relocate to well-developed peripherals if they get a bigger apartment as it does not disturb their home buying budget,” the report said.