For many years, investment in real-estate was confined to the male domain while women are mostly concentrated in the helping aspects of the industry like real-estate agents. But in recent years this trend is changing and women are drawn towards real-estate investing which leads to a tremendous impact and have become a powerful force in the industry. The overall growing income level of women, in general, has been increased, which increases the propensity to purchase a home and secure them. In India, it has been estimated, women are now 30% of urban property purchasers. The various initiatives by the government and financial institutions have also contributed to this growth.
If a property is registered under a woman’s name, then there are a number of benefits that available are:
1. The preferential interest rates offered by SBI, ICICI, etc., who are the major lending providers along with the lower stamp-duty rates up to 1%-2% as seen in markets which include Delhi and Rajasthan.
2. Higher tax deduction on the interest rates paid on the home loans.
3. If both husband and wife are co-applicants of a home loan then both of them can claim the tax deduction on the rate of interest paid.
The provisions of government to encourage women investors in the real-estate sector are:
1. The interest of home loans is lowered by the lending banks comparing to men.
2. The women have to be the co-owner or sole-owner of the affordable houses under the Union Government “Housing for All” mission. This empowers women from low-income households.
3. Women are eligible for up to Rs.2 Lakhs of tax deduction on home loan interest. The Delhi Municipal Corporation also provides a 30% rebate on the property tax, if registered under a woman.
4. In state’s like West Bengal, for the poverty alleviation schemes, the land titles of the Government allocated plots for low-income households are provided in the name of a woman.
While all these benefits are there for female empowerment, but still there are quite a few challenges ahead. For a single woman, they face indirect challenges when looking forward to buying a home due to their gender, ignorance by others and contractors taking advantage by charging them more. Also for some other components like safety, security and connectivity which makes the female home buyers purchase in what could be more expensive developments and neighbourhoods and ultimately it increases the purchase price of the home for these single female home-buyers. In addition to this, during the process of purchasing a home by female home-buyers, there are instances of discrimination, inconvertibility with a single woman and also they are subjected to greater personal scrutiny during the time of application.
Though the above mentioned universal challenges are there, the trend of women home purchaser should be encouraged to increase and provide them with the rightful empowerment by the society and as an industry. Women can too like the men can be a successful real-estate investors and make a good living or prepare for a comfortable retirement.