Uttarakhand is no longer merely a popular weekend retreat for folks from Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. Given the state’s richness of natural beauty, spirituality, adventure opportunities, wildlife, and biodiversity, there are several options for everyone to rejuvenate the body and mind, and escape the fast-paced city life. Given the perennially poor air quality and soaring mercury levels in the summers, many individuals look forward to owning a second home in Uttarakhand. But is it that easy for those from outside the state to invest in Uttarakhand real estate, especially given the hill state’s very strict property regulations?
Built-up property in Uttarakhand
There are more than 200 real estate projects across the state currently registered with the real estate regulatory authority (RERA) of the state. The cost of these projects depends on several factors, including the location, amenities that the developer promises to offer, construction quality, and material quality, among others. It is easier to purchase a builder’s apartment or cottage in Uttarakhand than purchasing land. There are no restrictions on any built-up property, whether within or outside the municipal limits.
Before you accept the cost of the apartment or villa at face value, you must be clear about the quality of life you need in the future. You must ensure the ecosystem, which includes, security, water supply, maintenance, etc., before you go ahead with buying your Uttarakhand property. Your investment should not become a headache in the long run.
Buy your own land in Uttarakhand
Even though Uttarakhand is open to property buyers from outside the state, as mentioned earlier, purchasing land in the hill state comes with some restrictions. Let us understand those restrictions better.
It is possible to buy a piece of agricultural or non-agricultural land without size restrictions within the municipal limits.
There are no restrictions on the non-agricultural land outside the municipal limits, either.
A person, or society or corporate body, can purchase non-agricultural land outside the municipal limit for medical or health purposes, for building a hotel, guest house, restaurant, spa, etc., or for educational, cultural, or industrial purposes, but the project should have the approval of the competent authority.
According to an amendment to the Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act 1950, a person who is a landowner of agricultural land in Uttarakhand and owned that piece of land before September 12, 2003, can sell agricultural land outside the municipal limits to people from outside the state. And those who want to buy agricultural land outside the city limits after September 2003 will need to comply with the Act.
The 2003 amendment to the Act allowed outsiders to purchase agricultural land outside the municipal limits in Uttarakhand, but only up to a limit of 2.50 Nali, and that too only for residential purposes. The law was subsequently amended in 2008 by the B.C. Khanduri government to reduce the threshold to 1.25 Nali. (300 Sq yard / 250 Sq meters, / 2700 Sq feet) of land.
The land rules also specify that an individual can buy more than 1.25 Nali of land only if plans to build a trust, a yoga centre, or a temple, in which case he or she can obtain permission from the District Magistrate. If an individual wants to buy more than 1.25 Nali land, he can do that under the name of his wife or children (over 18), but the residential address of the other buyers should have a different residential address in the Aadhar or PAN card.
Property price outlook in Uttarakhand
For investors searching for a speedy appreciation of built-up property, Uttarakhand has emerged as a remunerative investment destination. Property rates in various places in the state have appreciated by up to 20% over the last year. The demand for second homes, and Uttarakhand property has dramatically increased after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state government revised the circle rates for properties in different areas. While this is likely to impact the land rates, it may not impact the built-up properties immediately. So, if you are looking to invest in property in Uttarakhand, now is the time to do that. The state government is also expected to come back with stricter regulations regarding the purchase of property by non-domicile residents, and property prices are expected to get firmer.
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