The terms built up area, super built up area, salable area and carpet area pop up again and again for an Indian real estate buyer. The apartment that is sold as a spacious 1500 sqft apartment, is actually not 1500 sqft if you count its actual covered area, or carpet area.
1. Carpet area - The actual area you use. The area on which ‘you can put a carpet’.
2. Built up area - Carpet area + area of walls and ducts. Around 10% more than the carpet area. A terrace is considered as half the actual area for calculating built up area. Some projects charge dry terrace same as internal rooms.
3. Super built up / Saleable area - Built up area + markup for common spaces like lifts and stairs. Usually 25% more than the built up area.
This is a small apartment whose saleable area, or super built up area is 892 sqft. Let us calculate its carpet area by summing up all its rooms -
|Room||Dimensions (ft & inch)||Carpet area in sqft|
|Living Room||10′ x 15′-9″||157.5|
|Dining Room||7′ x 7′-8″||53.6|
|Bedroom 1||11′-9″ x 10′-9″||126.3|
|Bedroom 2||11′-9″ x 10||117.5|
|Toilet 1||8′-6″ x 5||42.5|
|Toilet 2||8′-4″ x 4′-3″||35.4|
|Terrace||10′ x 5′-9″||57.5|
|Kitchen||11′ x 8′-6″||93.5|
Now terraces are generally considered by halving their actual area. So, carpet area considered of the terrace is 57.5/2 sqft = 28.75 sqft.
So, the total carpet area for the rooms of the flat comes to be approximately 655 sqft. Now there is a passage area at the center of the flat, which looks approximately 11 feet by 5 feet, which adds 55 sqft more to the carpet area.
So, approximate carpet area of the flat = 710 sqft.
Now, the saleable area as given on the website is 892 sqft. This is the area which is billed to you by multiplying it with the square foot rate.
This difference is what super built up area is all about. As far as I have seen, a thumb rule is to take 1.25 as the multiplying factor to calculate super built up area (i.e. saleable area).
So, if we multiply by this factor, 710 * 1.25 = 887.5 sqft is approximately the answer we are supposed to arrive at.
But this rule of 25% is no written rule, and this multiplier can vary. Ideally, this multiplier should be more for the schemes where more space is given to amenities and common areas. This area is supposed to include the common amenities that are built but are not directly charged to the customer. But there are no concrete formulas for this. The agreement that you will sign with the builder, should have all the details like carpet area in it. But you will probably see the agreement in detail only after you decide to buy your home there.
So are you getting cheated when you actually get a 700 sqft apartment when you thought you got 900 sqft? Not really…
The key is to ask for the carpet area of the property you are buying, and verify it by doing a calculation as given above, and also verify the dimensions actually on the ground if possible. As long as we have open market economy, you will always have choices. So, if you find that a project has a multiplying factor of 25% for super built up area and another has 30%, the simplest thing you can do, is get the carpet area of the actual rooms and find out the per sqft rate based on carpet area, to compare the two projects.
Apart from this, there are also several extra bills like electricity backup charges, parking charges, maintenance charges for amenities, society formation charges so on and so forth. So, you need to consider and compare all of these charges before thinking of choosing the right project to buy a property. Give a hard thought to how many of the amenities you are actually going to use, and how much you are getting charged for them. Will it be simply better to buy into a no-frills project and join a gymkhana club rathar than paying maintenance charges for the swimming pool you are not going to use?
Simply create an excel sheet and put all the parameters of the property in it, like carpet area, parking charges etc. Use that sheet as your basis of taking decision and not the glossy marketing brochures they give you!
Update: One of our blog reader, Jatin has created a sheet. Putting it here so that you have something concrete while making your purchase decision. If you have something like this, please send it to me. I will upload it so that everyone can benefit.
Update: TheMinistry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA) has released the Model Real Estate Act that aims at bringing in order into the chaotic and less organised Real Estate Segment in India. The Act aims at creating regulation, transparency and accountability. You can visit the following post for the important key features of the Act.