To avoid evasion of Stamp Duty through the undervaluation for agreements and to minimise the disputes on quantum of stamp duty, all state governments publish area-wise rates of properties, on a yearly basis, known as Ready Reckoner rates.
What is the significance of Ready Reckoner/Circle rates?
The Ready Reckoner (RR) rate, as it is referred to in Mumbai, is also known as the Circle Rate in Delhi. This rate is the government’s estimate of minimum property values in various locations. The rate differs in every state, city and in different localities in those cities. Authorities determine the price of real estate in a particular locality, based on several factors. Based on these factors, a benchmark is set, below which no property transaction can take place in that particular locality. This benchmark is known as the Ready Reckoner/Circle rate. It is the minimum price on which the government will charge stamp duty and registration fees.
The RR rates are typically lower than the current Market Rates of properties in a particular area. The rate is reviewed periodically and revised, to bring it closer to market rates. As real estate transactions take place in the private realm and the price is often not disclosed, state governments need a benchmark, to ensure that they do not lose out on an important source of revenue.
See also: What is Stamp Duty Rates & Charges on Property?
How does the Ready Reckoner rate affect real estate transactions?
While RR rates specify the minimum amount at which properties can be sold in an area, there is no maximum limit above which a property cannot be sold. This leads to a significant difference between the RR and market rates. Most property transactions in India take place on the basis of the market rate in a particular locality. The stamp duty and registration fees, to be paid by the home buyer, are calculated on the basis of this market rate. Therefore, a big difference between the RR rate and market rate, leads to a loss of revenue for the government. In rare cases where the RR rate is higher, the stamp duty and registration fees will be calculated on the RR rate. On the other hand, higher RR rates discourage home buyers from registering their properties. By periodically revising RR rates and bringing them closer to market rates in every locality, the state government can increase transparency in real estate transactions and also ensure that they do not lose out on revenue.
The importance of Ready Reckoner rates for home buyers
The RR rate of properties in a particular area, is a good indication of the amount of money a potential home buyer will have to shell out. Market rates of properties are almost always higher and property prices in an area tend to increase, when the RR rate is expected to be increased. It is also beneficial for buyers to purchase property in an area, where the gap between the RR and market rates is relatively smaller, especially if the purchase is being financed by a home loan.
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