Understanding the Role of Women in Today’s Real Estate Transactions

Understanding the Role of Women in Today’s Real Estate Transactions
  • Opening Intro -

    India is largely a patriarchal society and males (father or husband) are assumed to be in charge of all the important decisions of a household.

    For the longest time, women played second fiddle to the men of the house.

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They resigned from actively taking part in crucial decisions like, purchasing a property and felt comfortable in playing the lead role in maintaining and beautifying homes. But, those days are gone.

21st-century women are educated, financially independent and capable of making decisions, with or without their male counterparts. They are finally stepping out from the shadows of patriarchy and actively pursuing their dreams.

Today, they are not just influencing, but taking an active part in selecting and purchasing a property. As far as women homebuyers are concerned, a study by Economic Times revealed that about 17% of women are interested in gold, 30% chose fixed deposits and approximately 42% prefer real estate as an investment asset.

According to a study by Makaan.com and Housing.com, women are increasingly playing a lead role in online searches for renting properties.

The study revealed that men have a marginal lead when it comes to buying decisions and the involvement of women between 18 and 34 years is rapidly growing in property-related decisions.

The paradigm shift in property buying decisions in India is forcing the real estate honchos to sit up and take note. However, even today, real estate marketers view women as merely a part of families and refuse to acknowledge them as a critical segment of homebuyers.

While it’ll still be sometime before real estate developers begin to market their 2 and 3 BHK apartments targeting women, here are a few reasons why women are emerging as the main decision-maker in real estate transactions.

Increased Home Loan Eligibility when Women are Involved

In India, majority of homes are financed through home loans. Taking a loan is a practical and effective way for an individual to buy his/her dream home. But, before deciding to finance a property, banks and other financial institutions evaluate the loan eligibility of the home loan seeker, which primarily depends on the loan seeker’s salary. Therefore, co-owning an apartment with one’s wife seems like a good option because it can increase the amount of the home loan as the income of both the applicants will be considered.

PMAY or the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana

The PMAY is envisioned and put in place to encourage homeownership among women in urban and rural areas. Under this scheme, one adult female member is made necessary in the ownership of an apartment. Moreover, women borrowers can get a concession on the home loan interest rate under this scheme.

The PMAY have kept women under the preferred class of homebuyers. For a PMAY subsidy or a home loan, both married and unmarried women can play as the scheme does not discriminate on the basis of marital status or gender. Furthermore, if a woman owns a 2 BHK or 3 BHK flat, the government offers subsidy up to a maximum of INR 2.67 lakh.

In the MIG 1 and MIG 2 category, it is not mandatory for a female co-applicant while seeking a home loan under the PMAY. This also applies to home loans under PMAY availed by individuals from the LIG and EWS category.

However, it is mandatory for women to be a co-owner of a property that is being purchased using the PMAY home loan in case of applicants from the LIG and EWS category. But, this rule is only applicable for newly purchased homes and not for houses that have been constructed on a piece of land or for renovations and repairs of an existing home.

Women get loans at a lower interest rate

In India, there are quite a few NBFCs and banks that offer home loans to women with concessional interest rates, along with other lucrative offers, initiatives and schemes. This plays a massive role in encouraging women executives, entrepreneurs and even homebuyers to take a decision about buying a home.

Since women are typically regarded to be more sincere and punctual in paying back loans, banks like to give loans to women. SBI’s “Her Ghar” scheme has waived off the processing fee on home loan applications for women. HDFC’s ‘Women Power’ and Mahila Awas loan are some other schemes that benefit women seeking home loans.

A crucial point to note here is that banks and such other financial institutions offer discounted rates only to women who are the first or solo co-applicant.

other valuable tips from our business blog (new win):

Enjoy tax benefits on home loans

Not just women, but also men are entitled to a tax deduction on interest paid up to INR 2 lakh on a loan that was availed for buying and constructing a house. If the house is owned jointly by a couple and the wife is a working professional, both of them can separately claim tax deductions. As per the newly-implemented 80EEA Act, if a property has been bought between April 2019 and March 2020, there will be an interest deduction.

So, as you can see, women are playing an important role in making home-buying decisions. When women are looking for 2 or 3 BHK flats in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru, they lay emphasis on the quality of housing, maintenance cost, basic facilities and amenities offered by the property developer, and the neighborhood. The government is also working towards empowering women when it comes to real estate transactions.

Image Credit: by Pixabay

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