For as many as 62% Indian women, real estate is the preferred asset class for investment. Also at least 82% women buy a home for end-use. Besides, women’s preference for real estate has risen post-COVID-19 – from 57% votes in the pre-COVID survey to 62% in the current edition, says a consumer sentiment survey released by Anarock.
At least 82% of women respondents will buy a home for end-use, 18% for investment; in contrast, 68% men will buy for end-use & 34% for investment
Over 70% of women respondents consider this to be an ideal time to buy a property. At least 66% of women respondent home seekers will buy within affordable and mid-segment housing (less than Rs 90 lakh budget), the survey said.
As many as 5% voted for ultra-luxury real estate priced over Rs 2.5 crore, it said.
The survey also revealed that most polled women homebuyers prefer ready-to-move-in homes, reflecting a strong aversion to the perceived investment risk of under-construction properties. Nearly 71% of women respondents want to buy ready homes, followed by 11% each for homes that will be available for possession in the next 6 months, and newly-launched projects. If we consider the overall survey results for both genders, ready homes had 29% votes in their favour.
Also, most women prefer bigger configurations - 46% favour 3BHKs while 30% are scouting for 2BHKs; 10% also looking for 4BHKs. The security of physical assets influences 31% of women homebuyers; 28% are attracted by cheaper home loans, 22% by available offers and discounts, it said.
In the overall survey, the 2BHK was the most-preferred configuration - but further analysis reveals that most women preferred higher BHK configurations.
“The survey reveals that many Indian women now consider housing not just the bedrock of financial security but also essential to diversify their investment portfolios. 62% of women respondents confirmed housing as their preferred asset class - even more than men. 54% of men who participated in the survey preferred real estate above the other options - stock market, fixed deposits and gold,” said Prashant Thakur, Director and Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants.
Of the total of 3,900 survey participants, 36% of respondents were women and among these, at least 70% consider the current time as ideal for buying a home. Their main sentiment drivers - housing affordability is currently optimal, developers' offers and discounts are attractive, and home loan rates are at a 15-year low.
A look at government policies that support women homebuyers
Various government policies support and promote women homeownership in India. For instance, to avail homes under the government’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) introduced in 2015, homes have to be mandatorily registered either in a woman’s name or with women as co-owners. This was done to empower women of the lower-income segments.
Lower stamp duty is another benefit that women enjoy while buying a property. Stamp duty charges are lower if property registration is executed in the name of a woman, although these charges vary from state to state.
The exemption for women varies between 1-2% across different states. In some cases, it might even vary within a particular state, based on the classification of regions as ‘urban’ and ‘rural’. For instance, Delhi, UP, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana offer relaxation in stamp duty for women buyers. Punjab has a 4% difference between male and female homebuyers.
Many banks such as SBI, ICICI, HDFC, etc. offer discounted home loan rates to women as compared to men. This again varies from bank to bank, but the difference can be as much as 0.25%. The prevailing low property rates coupled with home loans rates at a 15-year low are certainly an advantage.To avail of certain tax benefits, a woman can also become the joint owner of a property with her husband and, if she has a separate source of income, both can claim tax deductions individually.