Schemes That Make Home Buying Easier For Women
India has seen a rise in the number of women buying their own homes. Thanks to their growing financial stability and involvement in the decision-making process, woman home buyers include both entrepreneurs or executives, and homemakers.
There is a direct link among a rise in the number of women buying homes, and expanding female workforce, and a growing number of urban single women.
To attract more women looking to buy homes, developers, banks and even the government are coming up with different initiatives. These are aimed at making real estate a lucrative market for women.
Homemakers to home buyers
In a recent development, BGA Realtors, a Kolkata-based real estate player, has cut its booking amount by half for women. Under its scheme unveiled on International Women’s Day, the developer is also offering a subsidy of Rs 2.20 lakh on Rs 6-lakh home loans. These loans, to be disbursed through Micro Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (MHFCL), come with a processing fee, unlike in the case of commercial loans.
Another renowned developer, Tata Housing, has collaborated with State Bank of India (SBI) to launch a scheme especially for female home buyers. Under the scheme, the interested woman buyers have to pay only 20 per cent of the agreed value of the home upfront; the remaining 80 per cent is paid after possession.
In addition to the payment plan, SBI offers loans at a concessional interest rate of 9.5 per cent to its female customers, under a scheme called ‘Her Ghar’. The bank has also waived its processing fee for female home loan seekers. However, to avail of this scheme, the woman home buyer should be the sole applicant or one of the co-applicants of the home loan, and the sole or a co-owner of a property, according to SBI.
Power to all
SBI is not the only bank that is softening home loan interest rates for female buyers. In 2015, HDFC Bank, too, launched a special scheme to encourage woman home buyers under the name ‘Woman Power’. With this scheme, the bank disburses loans at an applicable interest rate of 9.85 per cent. This home loan product, which can be availed of by both joint and sole owners, is also available to women without any income of their own.
Another financing scheme launched by Aspire Home Finance, Mahila Awas Loan, disburses between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 12 lakh. The interest rate on these loans is higher than the concessional rate offered by many banks. The rate ranges from 10 per cent to 12 per cent. The higher interest rate is directly proportional to the risk involved in a loan disbursed to women without proper identification proofs.
Besides, there are several other schemes targeted at women belonging to the low-income group. One such is the MALA scheme that aims at women who are daily-wage workers, employed as domestic help, or running tiffin services from home – all of them fall under the unorganised sector. Many women from these groups may not be eligible for home loans, or even bank accounts. Yet, these women, also part of co-operative savings schemes, tend to earn a decent amount and possess enough excess income to pay equated monthly instalments (EMIs).
Many state governments also offer stamp duty concessions to woman home buyers. For instance, women in Delhi have to pay only three per cent of the property price as stamp duty, while men have to pay five per cent.
Thanks to these initiatives by banks and developers, home ownership in India, largely male-dominated for decades, is set to see a clear shift in favour of the country’s women.
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