J&K Realty Market Open to All: What it Entails for Property Buyers?

Will the government's decision to open up the Jammu and Kashmir real estate market to outsiders finally put the UT on the Indian realty map?

There is some very exciting news for property buyers who have always wanted to have a piece of the Paradise on Earth shining on their Real Estate portfolio. On 27th October 2020, the Central government made it legal for any Indian citizen to buy land or property in Jammu and Kashmir, where it was earlier not possible for a non-resident to do so.

The Real Estate regulatory system in Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed various reforms and changes in the last year. It has now become more welcoming of the ‘outsiders’ as far as property buying and selling is concerned. Revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A, followed by the bifurcation of the state has resulted in a phenomenal change in the real estate markete here.

Just recently, both Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh notified their Real Estate rules in compliance with RERA (Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act) of 2016. Post this, the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) amended, repealed, and replaced certain existing state laws to make it easy for outsiders to buy land in this region.

What it Means?

Indian Citizens can now buy urban/ non-agricultural land in Jammu & Kashmir – even if they are not the permanent residents of the region. They cannot buy agricultural land if they are non-agriculturalists. However, there are exemptions to this rule, which means agricultural land can be bought for non-agricultural purposes if it is for setting up of educational or healthcare facilities.

Impact on the Jammu and Kashmir Real Estate Market

While a rush of deals cannot be expected in this region, speculations are ripe that this move will put cities such as Srinagar, Jammu, and Baramulla on the top radar. However, the impending safety concerns might play a spoilsport in this region. Unless safety is given its due importance, the tourism sector won’t flourish. So, while individuals would be eager to buy property here, hotel chains would still be apprehensive for some time.

Amendment in Property Rights in J&K

  • As private investments were not possible with the state laws earlier, it limited the scope of growth in the region, which is highly dependent on tourism. The rules have now become more inclusive and make better business sense.
  • Inheritance rights for women marrying ‘outsiders’ are likely to be revised.
  • The State RERA is likely to be revised, to make it buyer friendly.
  • Property rates may see appreciation with buying and selling restrictions going away.

As the state can no longer survive just on tourism and a bit of agriculture, this welcome move will provide a boost to the economy. Public participation will get better, leading to new jobs in various sectors. However, since it is a sensitive region, it is best advised for people to wait and watch as to how the political scenario unfolds before investing their money there.