One should be aware of the fact that there are wide variations within and across countries, when it comes to property measurements. India follows international standards when it comes to weights and measures and distances, but this does not hold good when it comes to calculation of areas especially for property.

The issue is not in the measurement of square yards, hectares or acres but in the calculation of  built space, which is the area to be measured for calculation  of stamp duty and market value. Every city in the country has a different norm for Floor Space Index (FSI) which reflects in the calculation of the super built up area and gross leasable area. Here please note that the carpet area definition remains same across cities.

There are variations in FSI calculations as well. In Mumbai, balcony and flower beds are nor considered while calculating FSI , but are charged a premium from the builder under fungible FSI. In cities like Hyderabad everything is included in FSI calculation.

The concept of super build up areas are included to measure swimming pools, stairs, common areas and pavements, India. Things are not different in other countries like Australia or the Middle east. In some of these places floor spaces includes parking lots not physically adjoined to the property, as well.

In India, measurement of land has inconsistencies across states due to the prevalent unit of measurement used to sub-divide land. There are variations in the sub-divisions too. For example, In Assam, one acre=3 bighas and 8 chains, and the same in Bihar is 1 bigha. In Haryana it is 4 bighas..etc. Certain states measure acre in decimals where one acre =100 decimals in certain cases and 1000 decimals in other places.

Again, all states do not use FSI for calculation. Some states use FAR (floor area ratio). In Tamilnadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra buitup area is in proportion to land holding. So if the plot area is 2400 sq ft, then FSI is 1.5 and the maximum constructed area would be 2400*1.5=3600 sq ft.

In the FAR concept which is prevalent in Kerala, Assam, Delhi, Haryana and other states, for FAR 1.5 and plot coverage ratio 75 percent, not more that 1800 sq ft can be constructed on each floor for the same 3600 sq ft. built up area. This shows that only 2 floors can be constructed under FAR concept while under FSI there can be any number of floors subject to restrictions.

Such inconsistencies have an impact on property valuation in the absence of a common standard. This also reflects in the stamp duty and registration charges collected by the Government. The International Property Measurements Standards or IPMS is taking the initiative in coalition with 28 organisations globally to freeze on measurement standard for office space initially and then residential space later on.

The challenge is to get the Government approve the standards, which will ensure that the buyer and seller are valuing usable space accurately and calculating value correctly ensuring transparency, attracting more investments in to the real estate sector.