Area Matters

AreaOne of the vague terms in housing activity is the concept of area. It is one of the few factors, which comes time and again in the news for going against consumers rights.

This ambiguity might not be the sole creation of builders and developers, but, to a large extent, they are responsible for creating a mystery behind the concept of area. And some unscrupulous builders (and sellers) exploit this ambiguity to their advantage.

The Problem

The bone of contention is that the property owners charge the same rate for carpet area as well as super area, when there is a difference of almost 15-25 % in the two areas. In such case, cost of carpet areas becomes much higher than the cost of super area.

Suppose, while looking for a house and you get two options — one seller quotes Rs 15 lakh for a flat of 1,000 sq ft and the second is willing to sell his house for the same amount but claims a bigger area of 11,00 sq ft. So, the bigger house seems to be a better deal. But here’s the catch, just don’ t go by simple mathematical calculations , at least in case of the area concept when you intend to buy a flat.

The reality of real estate market is totally different. When sellers talk of area, they mention super area, say, 1100 sq ft — which means that your actual usable area shall be approximately 875 sq ft. Under the prevailing practice, property value is computed on the basis of both carpet area and super area. According to experts, on an average, carpet area of a property is 15-20 % less than the super area. Property owners charge the same rate for carpet area as well as super area and tend to cheat buyers.

Therefore, if you buy a flat of 2,000 sq ft. at a rate of Rs 2000 per sq ft, you pay Rs 40 lakh but your actual usable area shall be in between 1,500-1 ,600 sq ft. If it is 1,500 sq ft, your actual cost comes out to be Rs 2,666 per sq ft. Buyers of real estate should be well aware of what the builder or seller implies when he talks about area. What area is inclusive of and what it is not is the first clarification a buyer should seek.

Know your cost:

So, what exactly do you buy when you buy a flat? What is the carpet area? What is the built-up area? What is “super? built-up


Carpet Area:

It is least inclusive. Carpet area tells you exactly how much space you will have in your home. It is defined as the exact area within the walls of your home, that is, if you had to lay out a wall-to-wall carpet, how much area would it require?

That is known as the carpet area. Thus, all inner areas of a flat, as the door closes, would constitute the carpet area of the flat.

Built-up Area:

Built-up area takes one extra step and includes carpet area and the area being occupied by the walls of your home. Hence, the total area of your home including the area of the walls.

Super Built-up Area:

This is what builders often talk about. Besides, carpet and built-up area, the super built-up area also includes all the area under common spaces - your proportionate share of the lobby, staircase, elevator and corridor outside the apartment.


The confusion arises over the fact that what is exactly included under this definition is left to the discretion of the builders. Some may even include the terrace, security room, electrical room or pump room.

The total area of these “extras? is taken into account and divided by the number of apartments in proportion to their size.

In general, the good promoter shall not include the following area in saleable area: Society office, common toilet block on ground floor, electric meter room, pump room, substation , generator room, watchman /security cabin, staircase well, any ducts and voids, lift machine room, elevation boxes, ov er-head and underground tanks, lofts, flower beds, common terrace, refuge area, open sports facilities, swimming pool, area provided for drying clothes, ramp, walkways, ducts for various services like electricity, plumbing, septic tank/sewage treatment plant (STP), atrium open to sky, and compound wall.

Ideally, the share of common spaces should not be more than 15% of the built-up area of the flat. However , it must be specifically borne in mind that there is currently no statutory control over the loading of area over the carpet or built-up area for the purpose of sale. Lifts and additional staircases become essential for multi-storied buildings and this results in a higher proportion of common spaces.

The mode adopted by the developer for calculating the super built-up area is a very mysterious affair and he would not be willing to disclose the information to the general public. Ultimately the purchasers are targeted and victimized. There are promoters who charge the super built-up area between 50 to 55%.

Kunal Banerjee, VP, Ansals API says, “The core of the problem is that since there is no standardized method or a uniform formula for pricing, different developers use the technical terms of carpet area, plinth area, built-up area, super-built area according to their wish to sell their property, which ultimately creates the confusion. There is also no clarity provided by the developers for the basis of calculation for the superbuilt area, used by majority of developers . This confusion becomes dominant when one particular buyer visits different developers and gets quotes on the basis of different types of areas.?

The solution:

What is necessary is the concept of super built-up area should be made absolutely clear and transparent so that both the buyer and the builder follow a standard norm. If builders adhere to these standards and also communicate them to customers, then the concept of super built-up area would become more acceptable.

Various government agencies on their part, in addition to the Bureau of Indian Standards, are planning to come up with some legislation to regulate property transactions by imposing a new system of calculating real-estate value on the basis of actual usable area (carpet area) or a nationally accepted reference area.

Currently, there is no legislation to determine if adhering to the builtup area or super built-up area is right or wrong.

Infact, government’s plan to regulate was prompted by complaints against developers received from various quarters.

Source : The Economic Times

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5 Responses to “Area Matters”

  1. 1 Supertech ICON Customer May 3rd, 2008 at 1:59 am

    Now I can understand the bluff by builders better after purchasing a flat in Supertech ICON, Indirapuram-Delhi. The flat with super area of 1000 sq ft has carpet area of 566 sq ft only.
    Even after repeated quarries, there was no reply from builder’s office regarding actual carpet area. Some govt. norm is very much need to curb this malpractice by such builders.

  2. 2 haresh May 30th, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    we had a good answer from this is site

  3. 3 sunty Apr 16th, 2009 at 1:31 am


    i would like to know more about the super area and builtup area

    or there is any site is available which guide the peoples about the true super area and crpet area in particuler project. like we purchsed a flat in ghaziabad rajnagar ext. in scc heights. can anybody tell me the perticuler builders project passed on how much carpet area or super area which will be provided to customers

  4. 4 Manjunath.R May 1st, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    It is indeed very informative. But, I didn’t get the exact meaning of saleable area. please brief

  5. 5 Manjunath.R May 1st, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Indeed its very informative, but, i want to know the exact definition for saleable area

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