“They always call us gharer lakshmi, but when it comes to property matters…”
“But it is changing if you notice current trends.”
These are the snippets of lunchtime conversations between two friends, Shreemoyee and Tanima, who work in a private bank.
“Even for women working in the financial sector, it is not easy to impress their families that they have good knowledge about properties. It is always the men of the house who call the shots,” said Shreemoyee.
“Well, there is a lot of attitudinal change taking place in our society, and women are increasingly involved in property related discussions these days,” retorted Tanima.
The undercurrent of empowering our women are always not so apparent. Let us take deep dive into the issues to find out how things are changing.
Increasing Online Search by Women
New-age women are interested to secure their financial position through investment in different instruments. Among the relatively younger age group, there is an increasing online search to remain aware of different investment avenues including real estate.
Even non-working women like to be informed about property matters and they actively research different properties.
In addition to diversifying their portfolios, for safety, security, and good return on investment, they are stepping up and taking informed decisions on financial investment in the real estate sector. Their traditional approach to financial investment is taking a paradigm shift away from gold and fixed deposits. Investing in real estate and even stocks is very much under consideration of most working women.
There is also an increasing number of online searches by women on property-related websites. 30% of all searches on our website are women and this figure is slowly increasing over the years. Moreover, women spend almost equal time as men on our website searching for properties.
Joint Ownership of Properties
Joint ownership of properties is on the rise because of the benefits it confers on both the co-owners. It enhances home loan eligibility and there are also tax benefits on principal and interest repayments. It also helps in getting equal taxation and capital gains benefits.
Apart from the tax implications, joint ownership surely gives the lady of the house the honour of co-owning the home. It establishes her status of having a stake in property matters in the family.
Benefits of Government and Institutional Policies
More and more women are investing in properties, and both the state and the central government are supporting this through various policies.
Some of the benefits offered to women homebuyers include:
Lower interest rates on home loans offered by some banks and NBFCs: This has come a long way towards attracting women investors in this sector. Women availing of home loans also have the benefit of various exemptions under Section 80C, Section 80EE, Section 80 EEA, and Section 24B of the Income Tax Act.
PMAY benefits: Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), the government has made it mandatory that any property purchased under the scheme should be registered under the name of at least one woman in the household. And if the woman is the borrower of the loan under this scheme, she can also reap the benefits of low-interest rate.
Lower stamp duty for women homeowners: To encourage women homebuyers, some state governments offer lower stamp duty for them.
Rebates on property tax: Though property tax is variable across states, some municipal corporations offer a tax rebate on properties registered in a woman’s name.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling
More and more women are excelling in almost every profession and earning a substantial amount. Exemplary women entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, media professionals, bankers, IT executives, etc. are realising that a home is the biggest long-term security one can have.
Today’s women want to break the glass ceiling and even in property investments, they want to take things into their own hands. Online real estate portals, bank, and home finance company websites are of great help here. There are quite a few real estate blogs which are imparting knowledge on different aspects of property purchase.
Making a Home after Purchasing a Property
Property remains a bare shell till the lady of the house instills her ideas and creativity to make it a highly liveable home where everybody wants to come back to after a hard day at the office.
Today women are prime decision-makers as regards the décor of the home. Because of innate esthetic sense among women, homes are transformed into awesome living spaces by their imagination and effort.
Apart from the esthetic aspect, women are also conscious of functionality. In fact, this is quite evident how all equipment and utensils are managed so seamlessly in a modern modular kitchen.
Women are often taking major decisions in home purchase these days and are no longer relegated to the background as in the past. From the site visit stage, women are involved in almost all the stages of home buying.
This trend of increasing participation of women in property matters is expected to continue.