Swati Avinash, a marketing professional with a leading MNC was quite impressed with an upcoming housing project in Whitefield, Bangalore where the developer promised to create over a hundred luxurious flats with modern amenities. From the brochures and marketing material, the proposed complex looked exceptional for a mid-segment housing project, and hence she booked an apartment, as everything about this project seemed to be in place. This project “ticked” all her boxes – the reputation of the builder, the location of the project, the price, and the delivery schedule. However, shortly afterwards, she was exposed to the reality of “loading percentage” which she was not aware of. She realised that the cost of the additional space that she was paying for in the name of super built-up area over and above her carpet area was close to 50 per cent more than the usable space!
Loading percentage, is the difference between super built-up area and the carpet area, and has been point of contention between the builders and the homebuyers for a long time! Most often, the buyers are not aware of the fact that they have to compromise with the usable carpet area. Unfortunately, there is no scientific formula that defines the ideal loading percentage. Housing analysts indicate that in the mid-segment projects in major cities, any loading that is beyond 25 – 30 per cent is unacceptable.
Fortunately, the Real Estate Act clearly states that all builders should quote the prices based on carpet area and not super built area. As per the act, carpet area is defined as the net usable floor area, excluding the area covered by external walls, areas under service shafts, exclusive balcony or veranda area and exclusive open terrace area, but includes the area covered by internal partition walls of the apartment.
Buyers should be aware of the loading factor from the developers, and should only invest in a property if they are convinced. While buying an apartment, it is also important to measure the flat to verify the claims of the builder on the actual liveable space.