Registration of property transactions in Mumbai, the country’s biggest and costliest realty market, continued to grow at a rapid pace for the seventh successive month in March driven by record-low home loan rates, discounts and reduction in stamp duty charges.

In March, the country’s financial capital recorded 365% year-on-year jump in property registrations at 17,681 deals, showed data from the office of the Inspector General of Registration Maharashtra. Stamp duty collection also rose 174% from a year ago to Rs 837 crore in March.

“The government’s move to reduce stamp duty rates has received solid response from property buyers and has resulted in significant growth in registration activity in the last six months. Our Mumbai offices have achieved all the targets in terms of stamp duty collection and registrations apart from setting new records,” said Shridhar Dube-Patil, Deputy Inspector General of registration, Mumbai division, told ET.

This is the second highest registration activity noted in the last seven months since the Maharashtra government announced the limited-period stamp duty reduction that ends this evening. The sustained growth is being witnessed after the country’s commercial capital had set a historic high of 19,552 deals in December, up 204% from a year ago. With over 10,059 deals, last month had also witnessed the best February performance since 2012.

Given that the registration activity has been on the rise since the government announced the reduction in stamp duty charges in August, realty developers have urged the government to reconsider the decision and extend the benefit further.

“Maharashtra government has played a leadership role in rolling out revolutionary measures like stamp duty reduction to augment sluggish real estate market post Covid pandemic crisis. The extension of this bolster benefit would have played a catalytic role in keeping up the pace of sales and property registration momentum across the micro markets and different housing segments in the state,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO.

According to him, the proven data clearly reflected uptick in volume leading to increased state revenue in the last six months and the multiplier effect it draws on employment and economy.

“The state government’s decision to discontinue the stamp duty benefit will be a huge distress for the homebuyers who would have decided to buy their dream home but couldn’t do so because of the severe impact of the pandemic. We had requested the Government to extend the stamp duty benefit for at least a year so that more and more buyers could fulfil their wish of buying their home,” said Pritam Chivukula, Secretary, CREDAI-MCHI.

He also urged the government to reconsider their decision and extend the stamp duty benefit further in interest of the homebuyers.

Realtors welcomed the government’s decision to not hike the ready reckoner rates and provide 1% concession in stamp duty to women homebuyers, but also expressed that they will keep pushing for the extension of the stamp duty reduction, which is a win-win scenario for all.

“An extension would have ensured the sustenance of the sales momentum while providing the necessary support to one of the strongest economic pillars and employment generators in the country. We look forward to continuing our dialogue and representation with the necessary authorities to resume the reduced 3% stamp duty rates in the near future and safeguard the best interest of all stakeholders involved,” said Deepak Goradia, President, CREDAI-MCHI.