International Women’s Day: Women’s participation in real estate on the rise

[] Rising income levels, easy availability of loans, tax incentives and various government benefits, make home purchase an attractive proposition for women buyers

Home buying is no longer considered a male-driven affair, with women now showing equal participation in financial matters, including investment allocation. “They are active decision-makers in the property buying process and often take on associated, significant financial responsibilities,” says Sunil Sharma, chief customer officer, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd. Women stand to benefit from home ownership in more ways than one. Social security and financial independence are two of the most common reasons, why an increasing number of women are investing in realty.

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Advantages of property investment for women buyers

Social security

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For Maria D’Souza, financial security was the first thing on her mind, after she separated from her partner. “I did not want my changed marital status to affect my child or me in any way. Real estate seemed the best bet for me, as it provided me with the security of my space forever that other assets did not provide. I invested in a 1.5 BHK in Vashi by paying a down payment of Rs 2 lakhs from my savings and took a home loan for Rs 8 lakhs, in 2004. Today, 16 years later, my Vashi property where I stay is loan-free and I have invested in another 2 BHK in Ulwe, after gaining confidence from my first realty investment,” says D’Souza.

Financial security 

Many single women see purchasing a house as an opportunity to control their financial situation. “Women now are more career-focused, than previous generations and they want to invest smartly, which can make them future-ready,” says Kamal Singal, MD and CEO, Arvind SmartSpaces Ltd. Like in the case of Shweta Dongre, who started working in an MNC, a year ago. “Before splurging on luxuries, my family wanted me to be financially secure and have some responsible savings for my future. I invested in an affordable housing project, with my father helping me with the down payment. With a loan of 25 years now and an EMI getting cut from my salary, I am building an investment and am also careful about my spending,” she says.

Should women buy or rent a home?

A few common challenges faced by single women tenants, while looking for rented apartments, are usually based on preconceived notions. They are often questioned on their lifestyle choices, doubted on their ability to pay the rent, etc. “Paying monthly rent is also considered as a pure expenditure. Instead, paying the home loan EMI helps build one’s own asset over time. Buying a home means enhancing your wealth over time, as real estate offers better ROI than other investments, over a period of time,” Singal maintains.

Increase of women buyers in the real estate sector

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According to a report by Track2Realty, whether single or married, women (74%) are big influencers when it comes to a family’s decision to buy a home. This includes 32% of home buying by single women across the top eight Indian cities. “At Mahindra Lifespaces, the proportion of women in our customer base has been growing year on year (27% in CY 2017, 28% in CY 2018 and 33% in CY 2019). This growth can be attributed to multiple factors – altered perspectives due to increasing literacy levels, rising financial self-reliance among women, growing challenge to societal conditioning, government incentives such as secure co-borrowing facilities, preferential home loan schemes and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), to name a few,” says Sharma.

Advantages of being a woman home buyer in India

Various gender-inclusive schemes have been rolled out by the government, to foster home ownership among women in both, urban and rural areas.

Stamp duty waiver: In certain states, women are entitled to pay stamp duty that are around one or two per cent less than that payable by male property buyers. For instance, Jharkhand and Jammu charge only Re 1 as stamp duty. Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab charge 4% stamp duty.
Lower interest rates on home loan: Many banks offer women buyers with reduced interest of up to 1%.
PMAY Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS): The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme encourages women to invest in real estate. According to the scheme, it is compulsory for one of the owners of an affordable property to be a woman, thus, providing her with security. If a woman is a first-time home buyer, a loan subsidy of up to Rs 2.67 lakhs can be availed.


Why women’s day is celebrated?

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, is aimed at eliminating discrimination against women and to recognise their contributions in the spheres of society, culture, economics and politics.

When did Women’s Day start?

The UN began celebrating Women’s Day in 1975. In 1977, the UN General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as Women’s Day.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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