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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

A place of her own: Tracking the growing number of women realty buyers

Sops such as lower interest rates on loans and minimal downpayments are seeing more homes bought in the woman’s name.

real-estate Updated: Dec 08, 2018 18:37 IST
Lavina Mulchandani
Lavina Mulchandani
Hindustan Times
(Getty Images)

More women are buying homes, especially across urban India, often as a viable alternative to renting. Special schemes for women buyers, such as downpayments of just 1% and slightly lower interest rates and stamp duty charges, are helping them do this.

A study by realty consultancy portal Square Yards suggests that a sixth of all property bought by women is for self-use. “Some of them are also buying property to diversify their investment portfolio.”

“The size of the house did not matter to me. All I wanted was a safe area and an easy commute,” says Niharika Sugam, 29, a marketing executive from Nashik who bought a home in Sion four months ago, tired of the astronomical rents she was paying in Bandra.

“The EMI on my house is the same as the rent I paid for a 1BHK in Bandra, and the downpayment is the same as what I paid in security deposit for the rented flat,” she says.

For Priya Agarwal, 30, an investment advisor from Thane, buying a home was about ensuring long-term financial independence. “From viewing the flat online to paying for it, I did everything on my own,” she says. “And buying my own 1BHK helped me become more independent and learn to manage my earnings, savings and budgets wisely.”

The government’s affordable housing scheme [which offers subsidies for homes in certain categories] is allowing more women from lower-income households to buy homes too, says A Shankar, chief operating officer for strategic consulting at realty advisory JLL India. “Many banks also offer a 0.25% lower interest rate for women. This is encouraging families to buy homes in the name of women, and encouraging women to buy independent homes.”

Women are also buying homes as co-owners, which allows for a reduction of up to 2% on certain levies. Vidhi Shah, 29, a PR executive, bought a 2BHK in Kandivli with her husband last December. “Buying a home together helped us divide the debt equally and got us both some tax exemptions,” she says. “The decision has also helped me invest in real-estate for the future.”

“There are more women working now and they are also responsible for their own money,” says Kanika Gupta Shori, co-founder and chief operating officer at Square Yards. “They are planning their own investment portfolios, and real-estate is always a good(?) long-term choice.”

First Published: Dec 08, 2018 18:37 IST

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