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Women emerge as key homebuyers

71% want ready homes – ANAROCK Survey

Women emerge as key homebuyers.

In Indian real estate, every day is Women’s Day now! On the journey from being part of the home buying process to driving it, today’s financially strong Indian women emerged as a powerful demographic in ANAROCK’s latest consumer sentiment survey published in February 2021.

While celebrating International Women’s Day, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani –MD- Hiranandani Group commented that “Next Gen Millennial women are steadily taking on a more dynamic role as homebuyers, in addition to their role as homemaker. Until now, they always acted as a vital influencer in home-buying decisions, but more financial independence and urban migration have enabled them as new entrants into the home buying segment. This emerging trend is on the uptick after the pandemic crisis, where safety and security played a pivotal role.

The economically independent women workforce is prudent about their financial planning. A burgeoning 62% of women preferred real estate assets as an investment over other volatile assets, the same reinforced by the latest media survey data post-Covid. The real estate asset brings stability and a sense of ownership to this growing powerful demographic in the backdrop of an ideal time to buy their dream home.

Several policies enable to avail home buying advantage like incentivization from the central government under PMAY-Urban scheme for interest subvention to the first time women homebuyer, discounted home loan interest rates, reduced stamp duty, and entitlement to certain tax benefits. This promotes the evolution of Indian minds and also regulations favouring the female name as the co-owner in property ownership mandatorily. Thus, women play an important role in home-buying decisions rationally. Hence, Industry welcomes this new segment and encourages being Home Owners”.

Prashant Thakur, Director & Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants, says, “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.”

Interestingly, 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.

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.

Most surveyed women respondents (82%) plan to buy a home for their personal use, and 18% for investment. Among men respondents, the end-use to investment ratio was 68:32.

The survey also revealed that most polled women homebuyers prefer ready-to-move-in homes, reflecting a strong aversion to under-construction properties’ perceived investment risk. Nearly 71% of women respondents want to buy ready homes, followed by 11% each for homes 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.

Other notable women-centric findings:

  • While most women preferred properties priced within INR 90 lakh (at least 66% women homebuyers), 5% voted for ultra-luxury real estate priced >INR 2.5 Crore.
  • In the overall survey, the 2BHK was the most-preferred configuration – but further analysis reveals that most women preferred higher BHK-configurations. At least 46% of women favoured 3BHKs, and only 30% were scouting for 2BHKs. Interestingly, 10% were also looking for 4BHKs.
  • The psychological assurance of physical assets influences 31% of women homebuyers; 28% responded favourably towards the availability of cheaper home loans, and 22% will buy homes because of ongoing offers and deals by developers.

Home Purchase – Advantage Women

Indian women enjoy multiple benefits when buying homes:

  • 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 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 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 advantageous.
  • To avail of certain tax benefits, a woman can also become the joint owner of a property with her husband. If she has a separate source of income, both can claim tax deductions individually.

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