India’s realty marketplace builds an ecosystem to empower women homebuyers
Authored by Amit Ruparel, Managing Director, Ruparel Realty
While India has witnessed rapid urbanization in the past decade, women employment has been encouraged and increased multifold. According to the recent Sixth Economic Census released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, women constitute around 14% of the total entrepreneurship i.e. 8.05 million out of the total 58.5 million entrepreneurs. And so, it is viable to say that women are emerging as bread-winners and are gradually breaking the stereotype of – ‘Men’s responsibility to buy house’.
The drift of women becoming financially independent has consequently transformed the real estate sector with increasing investments from women buyers. The primary reason for this is owning is always a viable alternative to renting especially since there are special schemes already available in the market for women homebuyers. Many Indian banks offer home loans at a lower interest rate to encourage women home buyers. Women also enjoy the benefits of paying 2-1 percent lower stamp dutythan it is for men in many Indian states. Additionally, women home buyer community has further strengthened post introduction of government’s affordable housing scheme which offers subsidies for homes in certain categories allowing more women from lower-income households to buy homes too.
Under the Pradhan MantriAwasYojana (PMAY), the possession of a house should obligatorily be in the name of the female member of the family which is encouraging women homebuyers to invest in property under their name. In addition, several state governments also offer an additional stamp duty waiver if the house is registered in a woman’s name.
Tax exemption is yet another key aspect influencing women homebuyers’ investment decision. That is, women are entitled for a tax deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakh in case the property is self-occupied. Furthermore, both husband and wife are eligible for income tax deductions if it is a co-owned property. And lastly, for a property that is rented out, the interest on home loan can be claimed as deduction against the net rental value in totality.
A study by catalyst.org in 2016 revealed that about 24% women in urban India are in the pipeline for senior executive posts. And 30% of such women are equal earning members or breadwinners in a nuclear family. This is the reason why women with higher disposable incomes encompass about a fifth of the home buying population in India.
With more women becoming part of the working population and higher disposable incomes, they are now taking bolder step of taking higher loans than male, even when it comes to borrowing for a home. These women are informed, educated, aware and tech-savvy. Since the information is available online post introduction of RERA, there has been significant transformation in the home search journey. Most women have been buying homes for self-use and this has been recently validated by realty consultancy portal Square Yards. And so, they thoroughly investigate the medium to understand, location, ticket size, offers, benefits, reviews, walk-through videos, etc. before making the decision.