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This article has been written by Saurabh Chauhan, pursuing a Certificate Course in Real estate from LawSikho.

Introduction 

As we all know, in India buying a home is a very common dream of any middle-class person as it is not merely buying fruits or vegetables from the shop. For any lower income household buying home is a dream because first, in India home is very expensive, and he/she is investing all his/her saving which he/she has earned in lifetime so, it is a huge step which every person not dares to take that’s why in India almost 30% – 40% people lives in rented house secondly, for any middle class person homeownership is a very proud thing as living in your own house gives one some feeling of security rather than living in someone else’s house.

The process of home buying or selling is covered under RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority). Also, all rules and regulations are present in RERA Act. It is a governing body which checks and balances the proper working of real estate in India. It is the act which came in force in 2016, and the need for introducing this act was for a major home buyer. Prior to this Act, there were many irregularities and lack of transparency for home buyers, and they were facing many problems regarding home buying or selling, getting possession late, also one of the serious problems which they faced was of fraud and negligence on the part of builder and the buyers have no such places to get justice and if even they fought against the wrongdoing of builders and file a case it used to take a lot of time till than they cannot do anything. After RERA came into force, it provided transparency and almost stopped the illegal work going in real estate.

Lack of women as home buyers

Firstly, there was a lack of awareness amongst women about owning properties as buying and choosing of the property was only done by male members of the family and women were not allowed to interfere in property matters, but in present times things are changing and women are taking part by buying or owning properties. Some of these changes in present times are possible due to the government’s efforts by giving women home buyers subsidies and relaxation in stamp duties also by doing awareness campaigns in small tier 2 or tier 3 cities to aware women about the schemes and importance of homeownership and to make women financially stable and independent. In recent times the effect of providing schemes and doing campaigns is positive as women home buyers have increased rapidly in real estate, according to recent reports, around 70% purchase in real estate is influenced by women, and surprisingly around 21% of purchases in real estate is done by single women. So it is seen that things are changing. 

Secondly, before RERA came into the picture, it was difficult to buy a home safely and without getting involved in legal issues. Home buyers have to face certain problems which we have discussed above and those were the reasons for the lack of women home buyer who was able to buy a home but due to the fraud and negligence of builders they don’t show interest even it was difficult for men but now, RERA Act has given some assurance to the home buyer of safely buying property in real estate, and that’s why now women who are independent and can afford home have started to invest their earned money into buying properties in real estate also due to government schemes which gives some sort of monetary help to the women in courage them to buy home and other properties. 

Analyzing and comparing the situation of women as home buyers in India with other countries like U.S.A. and Australia

If we do an analysis of the situation of women as home buyers in India and in countries like the U.S.A. In Australia, we will see that women as home buyers in India are still not equal to all other women in the U.S.A., Australia and other European countries.

For instance, if we talk about Australia, the women are much ahead in buying property or home than in India, also surprisingly in Australia, women are even ahead of men in buying property real estate. According to the reports from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 60% of Australian women own their home, this huge figure is possible due to efforts done by the Australian government, and their banks like Westpac(Westpac Banking Corporation) which is one of the oldest banks in Australia, providing and assisting women home buyers by giving waiver and low-interest loans to women home buyers. So to compare with Australia, Indian banks in recent times have started schemes and giving loans at a low-interest rate to help women to buy and own a property or home. 

Now, if we do analysis with the U.S. we will see that the average income of women in the U.S.A. is more than the average income of women in India, due to which women as home buyer in U.S.A. are more than women in India, and this is one of the key factors which India still needs to solve that is of less income of women as compared to men. Laws are their like Equal Remuneration Act,1976 which prohibits uneven pay to men and women workers doing the same job or same nature but, still, there were some loopholes so recently, Code on Wages,2019 of India has be notified which combine four major labour laws on wages, being the Equal Remuneration Act, Payment of Wages, Act 1936, Minimum Wages Act,1948, Payment of Bonus Act,1965 and by doing all changes government of India is helping women to achieve equality in Wages, and overall making women financially stable.

So overall we can say that the situation is not very similar in India as compared to other developing countries, but Indian government by its policies and banks with their schemes are helping women home buyers and results are positive as women home buyers in the real estate sector are rapidly increasing. 

Monetary Benefits for women as home buyers

To make women financially stable and independent, also to involve more women in the real estate market, the government has given some interesting offers, especially for women home buyers, Following are some benefits of buying a home in the name of a female member of the family :

PMAY Benefits

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or PMAY is the government’s flagship scheme. Under this scheme, women get many benefits over men as women applicants will get a subsidy of up to 2.67 lakhs, but there is a certain condition that the house on which the loan is taken should be the first house in the name of the women applicant. The advantage is only given for buying the first house under the scheme. Also, according to the PMAY guidelines, it is mandatory that a house should be registered under the name of at least one woman in the household. 

Also, PMAY which is now attached to the Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) women borrowers will get concession on the rate of interest at home loans. For providing benefits for all types of women, the government has divided CLSS into 4 major groups:

1) Economically Weaker Section (EWS): in this group women having a annual income less than or equal to Rs 3 lakhs will be given subsidy of 6.5% at home loan of up to Rs 6 lakhs.

2) Low Income Group (LIG): in this group women having a annual income of less than or equal to Rs 6 lakhs will be given the same benefits like the EWS group.

3) Middle Income Group – 1 (MIG-I): in this group women having an annual income of not more than Rs 12 lakhs will be given subsidy of 4% on home loan of up to Rs 9 lakhs.

4) Middle Income Group – 2 (MIG-II): in this group women having a annual income not more than Rs 18 lakhs will be given 3% subsidy on home loan up to Rs 12 lakhs.

Tax Benefits 

For women home buyers or buying a home in the name of a woman will have a deduction of interest up to Rs 2 lakhs in every financial year. Also, if a married couple jointly owns the property and are earning separately means the income of the husband and wife is separate,  then they can claim for tax deduction individually.  

(Note):-  Tax deduction will depend on the share of co-owners in the property.

Benefits of low stamp duty :- In India, some States provide lesser stamp duty to women home buyers as compared to men or to those who register property in the name of women. For example, in Delhi, a woman home buyer has to pay 4% stamp duty whereas a man home buyer has to pay 6% stamp duty for the same property. Below is the table of states providing different stamp duty to men and women.

Name of the State         stamp duty for Men                     stamp duty for women      

 

Delhi                                        6%                                                4% 

 

Haryana                                   6% in rural                                   4% in rural

                                                8% in urban                                  6% in urban

 

Odisha                                    5%                                                 4%

 

Punjab                                    7%                                                 5%

 

Rajasthan                               5%                                                 4%

 

U.P.                                       7%                                                 7%, rebate of

                                                                                                    of Rs 10,000 

                                                                                                    on overall chrg.    

 

Uttrakhand                             5%                                                3.75%

Benefits of getting home loans at a lower rate 

As a lender one thinks that the money which he has given shall be returned back in time and it is seen that money as a loan given to women is safer than given to men because it is believed that women will return the money with interest on time and have less chance of making fraud also it is perceived that women are more sincere that is why leading Banks and NBFCs provide home loan on less interest rates to women, and also with interesting schemes and offers to encourage women who are able to buy home. Many schemes are run by leading banks in India like ‘Her Ghar’ by S.B.I., ‘Mahila Awas Loan’, ‘Women Power’ by HDFC, ‘Tata housing’ and many other schemes were there.

Other Benefits

There are some other benefits for women as an owner of the house. Firstly, in many cases when an individual does not pay a loan or a debt on time which he has taken for any work or business, then the bank or any governmental official is not allowed to take home for recovery of money. 

Also, to acquire all these benefits, there are certain conditions which need to be fulfilled, conditions are:

  1. If a woman is the co-owner or guarantor in any of the loans, then the property in her name can be taken away for recovery.
  2. If a couple co-owns a property, and if the property is used for renting, then the rental income generated from the property will be attracted tax from both the co-owners.
  3. If the property is in the name of the wife and the loan is also taken in the name of the wife but out of a known source of income, then it will not be considered as a Benami property.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can say that by these kinds of initiatives and schemes, women as home buyers will increase the real estate sector and overall benefits for the economy of any country, especially in a country like India, it is very much necessary as we have less number of independent women who are financially stable. Also, by increasing homeownership of women in the country will decrease the mentality of male dominance in the country, and overall, the equality will prevail in this form, as well.


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