Apartments these days are generally priced on the basis of the super built up area. However, the actual usable area of a flat might be significantly lower then the super area that is being marketed. This difference is due to the kinds of spaces included in calculating the different metrics and due to the lack of a uniform approach amongst the developers.
Therefore a buyer must be very clear as to what are the areas that he is paying for. As most developers use the super built up area (saleable area) for marketing purpose, a buyer must gather the required information from the developers to be able to come to an informed decision. Please ensure to:
- Ask each developer for the absolute figures of carpet area, covered area, balcony area, common passage area and all other areas (if any) loaded into the super area, instead of accepting an approx. percentage figure like 25% loading as claimed by most developers.(Ideally the Super Area to Covered area markup should not be exceeding 20%)
- Ask each developer to reveal the exact common areas considered while calculating the super area. (For eg. was parking area/clubhouse area included in it or not)
- As an informed buyer, please do calculate the areas given in the layout plans shown by the developers to evaluate the actual area that you will be able to use. It quite possible that a 1800 sq ft flat (Claimed Super Area) might actually have a smaller usable area than a 1600 sq ft flat (Claimed Super Area). This difference will arises due to the conservative /aggressive approach taken for calculation of the super areas by the respective developers.
- Please do visit and see the actual room sizes of the flats to be able to gauge the area being claimed
It is important to note that the Real Estate Regulation Act of 2016 (RERA) makes it mandatory for the developers to reveal the covered/carpet area in addition to the super area.
Some of the metrics used to calculate the area of a flat:
- Carpet Area
The Real Estate Act – 2016 defines Carpet Area as:
“The net usable floor area of an apartment, excluding the area covered by the external walls, areas under services shafts, exclusive balcony or verandah area and exclusive open terrace area, but includes the area covered by the internal partition walls of the apartment”
This is the internal area of the flat measured from wall to wall taking into account the actual usable area available from the internal faces of the walls.
However, some developers may add 50% or 100% of the area available in other spaces like balconies and terraces.
- Built Up Area / Covered Area
The covered area is the total area available inside the flat including the wall thickness and any ducts. Generally it is estimated to be about 15% bigger than the actual carpet area.
- Super Area/Super Built Up Area
The super built up area is calculated by adding a markup amount to the covered area for common spaces like lifts, staircases, lobby entrances etc. Ideally, for the purpose of calculation the areas for all the common entities should be calculated and divided by the total number of flats. However, a rule of thumb that is used by many developers to calculate it is by using a loading factor. For instance if the loading is taken to be 25% then they will simply multiply the carpet area by 1.25.
Since there is no standard rule for calculation of super areas, many developers can use a loading factor of almost 30-35% and some even going as high as 50%-60% by adding spaces like the parking area as a part of the super built up area as well.