Today, women have broken all stereotypes and have transitioned from mere ‘influencers’ to ‘actual homebuyers’.
Among the aspects that define empowerment, shelter or housing is the most important. Having one’s own home, preferably one that is owned is arguably the most critical decisions of our lives and this holds true for all Indians, regardless of gender. Over the years, it was the male who was considered responsible when it came to buying a home. However, presently, women are not just fast catching up, they have also broken the stereotypes - from being ‘influencers’, they are now homebuyers in their own right.
The Indian real estate buying has undergone a paradigm shift in terms of home buying pattern. The switch from traditional newspaper ads to digital buying and virtual tours, everything has experienced a makeshift. Similarly, the predominantly male-dominated industry has also transformed into a women-centric industry. Today, the well-educated, independent and strong women want to create their own wealth asset and widen their investment horizon. Women not only aim to attain higher education, but fat pay cheques, too, which is much beyond their traditional stigma.
Earlier, when it came to buying a home for the family in the Indian real estate scenario, women– be it a spouse, parent or child – played an essential role in selecting the house, however, it was only restricted to decision making.
However, in the recent times, financially independent women are involved in the homebuying process right from the start to the end. We have seen women taking on different roles when it comes to home purchase, from a student looking for student housing options to the working woman looking for a house and the single mother looking for something that balances the child’s upbringing tasks and her workplace. With their changing roles, the growth trajectory for women has been much more pronounced. Reflecting reality in metropolitan cities so far, the trend of women being the second biggest group of homebuyers is also catching up in many Tier II cities. A synopsis of different reports suggests that a little over 30 percent of those who rent or buy a home across the country are women. Another estimate indicates that women contribute to decision-making in about 74 percent of residential real estate purchases.
Most of the women homebuyers look out to buy property for self- use. This trend could be attributed to the special benefits provided to women homebuyers. Women homebuyers are incentivised with several customised schemes and offers by the government, banks , developers and channel partners. The benefit of credit subsidy for the first-time female homebuyers under PMAY scheme has given a significant thrust to this emerging homebuyer segment. Developers have also announced lucrative discounts and offers to suit females’ interests and garner more sales. Many banks and home financing institutions have even come up with alternative schemes to benefit women homebuyers. For instance, flexible-payment plans have been announced to ease women's homebuying experience. Similarly, women homebuyers also get tax benefits and are eligible for a tax deduction subject to a limit in case of self-occupied property. Besides, they are also eligible for income tax deductions in instances of a property co-owned with the spouse.
On the occasion of Women’s Day, I would appeal all the new-age millennial women homebuyers to step out and buy their dream home. It is the right time to secure your bright future and ensure one’s financial stability.