Carpet area, built-up area, super built-up area – these terms puzzled property buyers no end and they often did not know what they were getting for their money. RERA has ensured that developers declare the carpet area, and buyers now know the exact space of the property they buy.
Though there are many aspects on which homebuyers sought clarity from a developer before buying a house, one of the prime concerns was the carpet area. Carpet area is the actual space that a homeowner is going to use and there were apprehensions about what one ended up paying, with so much jargon like carpet area, built-up area, and super built-up area advertised in the brochures.
In a market where homebuyers do not pay enough attention or understand the jargon and other specifications of an apartment, clarity on carpet area was necessary.
Thanks to RERA, it is now mandatory for developers to declare the actual carpet area of a housing property they sell.
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 says: “The promoter shall enclose the following documents along with the application referred to in subsection (1), namely … (h) the number, type and the carpet area of apartments for sale in the project along with the area of the exclusive balcony or veranda areas and the exclusive open terrace areas with the apartment, if any.”
Now you know what you are paying for!
In a circular issued in June 2017, it was stated that the balcony, veranda and terrace, even if exclusive to the flat owner, can’t be included in the carpet area even as internal walls are included in the calculation. This ruling has changed the market and the way business is done.
Ankush Bhanot of Valuemax Advisors, a Delhi-based consulting firm, says: “Before RERA, developers did not follow any standard format. It was common practice for developers to quote the price of an apartment in terms of super built-up area. Carpet area was rarely clarified, nor was it usual to mention how the super built-up area of a flat was calculated. Consumers did not understand the technical calculation and were at a loss. Developers are now declaring carpet area in all communications about the project.”
Will this change the price of apartments as well?
Bhanot says: “Calculation of the price of an apartment has not changed. Developers are still charging on super built-up area.”
UNDERSTANDING THE CALCULATION
To calculate super built-up area, builders randomly load 25-40% of net usable area of an apartment. The intent behind charging on super built-up area is to cover the cost of construction of common areas like lobbies, lifts, staircases, shafts and covered parking.
Carpet area: As the name suggests, it is the area that allows us to spread a carpet inside the house, wall-to-wall.
RERA defines carpet area thus: The net usable floor area of an apartment, excluding the area covered by external walls, areas under services shafts, exclusive balcony or veranda area, and exclusive open terrace area, but including the area covered by the internal partition walls of the apartment.
Built-up area: This includes the carpet area and the area occupied by the walls and pillars of your home.
Built-up area = Carpet Area + Area of the walls, ducts, and pillars + 1/2 the area of the terrace.
It is usually 10% more than the carpet area. A terrace is considered half of the actual area for calculating the built-up area.
Super built-up area: This is also known as the ‘saleable or useable’ area. This area is the sum of the built-up area + common spaces which include the apartment’s proportionate share of the lobby, common staircase and lift, the corridor outside the apartment, clubhouse, and awnings.
Super built-up area is usually around 25% more than built-up area.
With RERA working to bring transparency in the sector, homebuyers are on the winning side. Now they know clearly what they are paying for. Declaring carpet area helps the sector in an image makeover.
It reduces the chances of homebuyers facing significant mismatch between what was promised and what is delivered by the developer. With carpet area clearly mentioned in advertisements and other communications, homebuyers know the amount they need to pay beforehand.