In a heartening trend, more women are now buying homes in India which is another proud instance of women breaking a glass ceiling (we wonder how many more ceilings are there to be broken!). Recent reports indicate that women are now becoming a major target audience for real estate developers, many of whom had not taken this demographic seriously earlier.
The Indian real estate sector has more commonly seen advertisements of women in kitchens or as components of the family when advertising projects or marketing amenities and other facilities. However, things look set to change with recent reports stating how women are not just influencers but actual buyers in today’s times.
Women buyer counts increase in Indian property market
Women have already broken several stereotypes including the done-to-death homemaker, kitchen manager and glorified housekeeper (for want of a better term) and they are now taking swift strides at the workplace, in society and also as major consumers for everything from FMCG products to automobiles. The same story is being witnessed in case of Indian real estate and it is a welcome trend to say the least. Educated, financially independent and digitally savvy women now wish to purchase their own homes or invest in real estate for long-term wealth creation.
Here are some key trends that deserve to be highlighted in this regard:
- Women are reportedly becoming the second largest home buyer group, something that is being witnessed in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities alike.
- More than 30% of people buying or renting a home in India are women as per several reports.
- Women also have an active role to play in influencing 74% of purchases in residential realty as per reports.
- A majority of women usually seek property for end-use and this may be due to the array of benefits on offer for female buyers.
- There are several incentives for women buyers along with customized property buying schemes and other offers provided by banks, financial institutions, channel partners, developers and also the Government.
- Credit subsidy for first-time women homebuyers as part of PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) is a major push towards encouraging more women to buy property.
- Real estate developers are now coming up with special offers and discounts for women buyers while banks/NBFCs have special home buying schemes with flexible payment options.
- In case of property that is self-occupied, female buyers get tax deductions which are appealing to them and they are also eligible for these in case of co-owned property with their spouses.
- Average home loan amounts for female buyers stand at a little less than Rs. 28 lakhs as per reports and this is higher than the average loan size for men.
- The overall growth in successful credit applications has been close to 50% for women over the last 3 years which is sizably more than men.
Women hit it out of the park
Women are asserting their influence in the Indian real estate sector. Mindsets have changed to a large extent and women are now the principal decision makers and investors in homes which are possibly the biggest financial investments for any family. With more women achieving financial security and freedom, they are no longer content taking a backseat when it comes to home buying decisions.
Women are also attracted to real estate due to the special rates of interest offered by banks and other financial institutions. There are often 0.05-0.1% discounts offered by banks on home loan interest rates. This encourages several women to apply for home loans as the primary applicants even when they are applying with their spouses. Home loan eligibility is also a major concern for first-time homebuyers and hence couples find co-ownership as the best route. Joint home loans enable lower rates of interest and higher eligibility for loans. As a result, a growing number of female borrowers are applying for home loans jointly with their husbands.
Joint home loans are also enabling realization of handsome tax benefits for both spouses which lead to greater savings overall. Another key trend is that stamp duty charges are lower for women in several states. There are often 1-2% discounts on stamp duty offered for women homebuyers which encourages higher investments from them as a result. Real estate is always a value addition to any investment portfolio and more women are now working and managing their own finances. They view real estate as a long-term wealth creator and are taking their own decisions accordingly. All we can say is hail our women! May they continue breaking many more glass ceilings and keep investing in real estate with gusto!