Women emerges in the role of home ownership: What homebuying means to women?

In the new normal post the Covid-19 pandemic, owning one’s own home is no longer just a dream, but also a vital necessity. The new-age millennials have re-defined the concepts of equal opportunity and gender equality, and we are seeing women from this segment stepping up and taking on responsibilities of making ‘dream homes’ into reality.

Going beyond the aspect of just owning their own homes, women are an increasing part of the workforce in urban locations across India; for them, real estate is an asset class that spells safety, security and high RoI. A recent survey mentioned in media reports put 77 per cent of women as buying homes for end-use while 23 per cent did so for investment. The report also added that women investing in real estate did so following due diligence. This leads to the conclusion that women who invest in real estate are driven by the twin benefits of capital appreciation and rental income.

From being an influencer to the key decision-maker; the change in perception is driven by the need for a safe and secure nest, which in the new regulatory regime, has been the driver for the rise of females buying homes. A growing segment of home buyers since the past few years, millennial women are progressive and risk-oriented when it comes to financial independence. This has resulted in a shift in their financial investment approach; the focus has moved from asset classes like gold or fixed deposits to real estate, given aspects like the sense of ownership stability and healthy returns. As a result, this powerful demographic is on the rise post the Covid 19 pandemic, and this rapid growth has drawn attention to the industry.

This segment reflects high disposable income, portfolio diversification, which leads to the need for multiple tax and fiscal benefits. Lower home loan interest rates, reduced stamp duty, entitled tax benefits as also special women's day deal sweeteners from developers; are factors that encourage this segment to take the leap and buy their own home.

It has also prompted authorities to announce measures to incentivise the segment of women home buyers. The interest subvention schemes under CLSS for the first time women homebuyers in the PMAY-U scheme is an apt example, as is the aspect of making it mandatory for women to be either co-owners or sole owners of affordable homes.

Recent media reports suggest that 47 per cent of women property home buyers are in the age group of 25-35 years, followed by 41 per cent in the 35-45 years; both of these comprise the right age groups to buy a home. Women migration to urban locations sounds prudent and follows due diligence before sealing the home-buying deal on grounds of accessibility and community living as major decision factors.

The woman home buyer looks at practical utility and functionality while selecting a residential property. The woman homebuyer looks for a home that spells security, prefers mid-size apartments to cater to multiple needs and evaluates the growth return in the long run.

For this emerging segment of ambitious female home buyers, it makes sense to buy homes in integrated townships, which will ensure their comfort, convenience while they enjoy the benefits of community living, given that work has most of them nest in homes away from their families. Integrated township living is embedded with requirements of daily living, be it education, healthcare, high street retail, entertainment and daily convenience, as per their lifestyle. It also offers ‘walk to work’ options, as also ‘work from home’ or ‘remote location work’ options. The holistic living offers women home buyers a strike a chord between in aspect of ‘work, life, play’ and enriches their standard of living in a safe ecosystem. The eco-friendly and green ecosystem epitomizes their growth quotient, striking the right balance between mental, emotional and physical wellness.

The author of the article is National President of NAREDCO and MD of Hiranandani Group.

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