Indian women prefer housing over gold for investment

The Rs 45-90 lakh budget range is the ‘sweet spot’ for 36 per cent of women home seekers…reports Asian Lite News

A new survey has revealed that nearly 65 per cent women preferred housing as an investment asset class while just 8 per cent of them preferred gold for investment.

While women are a key homebuyer segment, nearly 83 per cent of the women respondents in ANAROCK’s most recent Consumer Sentiment Survey, are looking at homes priced above Rs 45 lakhs.

The Rs 45-90 lakh budget range is the ‘sweet spot’ for 36 per cent of women home seekers, and 27 per cent prefer premium homes priced from Rs 90 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore. Twenty per cent prefer luxury homes priced over Rs 1.5 crore.

Affordable homes priced under Rs 45 lakh are the least preferred.

The survey by the real estate consultancy firm also found that gold has lost its sheen even as real estate has gained favour for women investors.

At least 65 per cent of women homebuyers now prefer to invest in real estate, followed by 20 per cent favouring the stock markets. Just 8 per cent of women respondents favour gold, and 7 per cent prefer FDs.

Santhosh Kumar, Vice Chairman, ANAROCK Group, said: “Over the last decade, women have emerged as a major residential real estate buyer segment, especially in the urban centres. Their preferences are also distinctly shaping newer trends — from bigger homes, ready-to-move properties to specific budgets, they know exactly what they want. And like millennials, their preferences now influence the supply that developers put on the market.”

More women are now also buying property for investment. As per the survey, the ratio of women buying properties for end-use and investment has changed from the previous survey. It now stands at 77:23, where it was previously 82:18.

Of the total of 5,500 survey participants, 50 per cent of respondents were women and among these, more than 80 per cent consider the current time as ideal for buying homes.

There are many benefits that Indian women can avail by buying and registering properties in their names. Various government policies support and promote women homeownership in India. For instance, to avail homes under the government’s flagship scheme Pradhan MantriAAwasAYojnaA(PMAY) introduced in 2015, homes have to be mandatorily registered either in a woman’s name or with a woman as co-owner. This was done to empower women of the lower-income segments.

Lower stamp duty is another benefit women homebuyers enjoy. Stamp duty charges are lower if the property is registered in a woman’s name, albeit with variations from state to state. The exemption varies from 1-2 per cent across states, and may even vary within a particular state, based on the classification of regions as ‘urban’ and ‘rural’.

For instance, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana offer a relaxation in stamp duty for women buyers.

Many banks such as SBI, ICICI, and HDFC offer discounted home loan rates to women as compared to men. This again varies from bank to bank, with a difference of around 0.25 per cent.

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.

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