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First-time buyers can now expect to get a home of their choice

First-time buyers can now expect to get a home of their choice
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First Published: Mon, Mar 23 2009. 12 19 AM IST

Updated: Mon, Mar 23 2009. 12 19 AM IST
To help readers keep pace with what’s happening in the real estate sector, Mint’s Q&A appears every other Monday.
I am from Coimbatore but I have been in Mumbai for three years owing to my job. All this while I have been living in a one bedroom rented apartment in Thane. Though buying my own flat has always been on my mind, I haven’t been able to do so owing to high property prices. These days there’s a lot of buzz about affordable housing. This seems to be a breather for most of the people waiting to buy a house. What’s your take?
We strongly believe that availability of “no frill affordable houses” is very important to generate serious interest among buyers of real estate.
Over the last few months, the government has taken a number of bold measures with a view to encourage affordable housing. On the one hand, overall property prices have corrected 20-25%, and on the other hand, developers have also realized the need for introducing affordable housing by downsizing the area (size) and also taking up projects which exclude amenities such as a swimming pool, gymnasium, etc., to cater to this huge untapped demand.
Developers are also launching innovative schemes to bring back confidence and encourage buying. Hence in my view, a lot of prospective first-time homebuyers like you, who have been waiting to buy a home but had deferred their decision due to high property prices, can now finally expect to get a home of their choice.
I (applicant) and my wife (co-applicant) have taken a home loan from HDFC. I am the owner of the property, my wife is not a co-owner. After my retirement, my wife is paying the equated monthly instalment (EMI) from her salaried income. Please let me know whether income-tax benefit arising out of (1) payment of EMI and (2) accrual/payment of interest will be available to my wife.
As per the Income-tax Act, 1961, tax benefits on a home loan is available only to the owner/co-owners of that property and not to any other person. However, one must seek professional advice from an income-tax consultant on such matters.
Renu Sud Karnad is joint managing director, HDFC. Readers may write in with their queries and comments to askmint@livemint.com
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First Published: Mon, Mar 23 2009. 12 19 AM IST