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Investing in a property, is one of the most important decisions taken by a family. In the past few years, there has been a paradigm shift, in home buying patterns in India. From viewing, selecting and paying for properties at the click of a button, the decision making process while buying a house has witnessed a transformation, with women playing a key role in purchase decisions. In the past, an Indian woman owning a house, meant owning an ancestral property or helping their husbands to buy a home. However, now, more women are financially independent and play an active role in the decision making process of buying a property and contribute significantly towards it. Today, more women are taking the lead, vis-à-vis the financial load of buying a new home and maintaining the same.
According to a report by Track2Realty, women contribute to nearly 74 per cent of real estate buying decisions. This includes 32 per cent of home buying by single women, across the top eight cities. Real estate developers are also offering special discounts and exclusive offers, targeting women home buyers in their projects.
Changing family trends in property decision making
In the past, men were decision makers in the family, as they were the sole breadwinners. This also included property buying. However, now, an increasing number of women have started contributing to the family, financially. With a majority of the households having dual incomes, women have equal decision making powers and are often seen taking decisions, on behalf of the family. In fact, regardless of financial contribution, women do play a huge part in the decision making process of purchasing a property.
Women’s say, while buying a property in nuclear families
The traditional Indian joint family, has seen a radical change and we see more nuclear families emerging. With comparatively less space required by a nuclear family than a joint family, the decision making process has also changed radically both, in terms of who makes them and what choices are made. While buying a property, women look for apartments with close proximity to schools, healthcare, workplace and shopping. A good neighbourhood with parks and playgrounds, is an added advantage.
A majority of women are buying property for self-use
According to data analysed by property portal Roof and Floor, a majority of women buyers look to buy the properties for themselves. Some of the factors for this, could be attributed to the special benefits provided to women home buyers. Increasingly, women are also planning to invest in real estate, to diversify their investment portfolio.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for women
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is envisioned, to encourage home ownership amongst women in cities, as well as villages. Under the PMAY, one adult female member is made mandatory in the ownership of a house. Women borrowers also can get an interest rate concession on a home loan under the PMAY.
Women in real estate business
Like every other industry, the real estate sector is witnessing an increase in the number of women joining the sector. With discussions on gender diversity in a predominantly male-dominated business, the role of women has seen a steady rise in senior positions. Several well-known channel partners in the industry today, are women. The other important factor is an inclusive workplace culture, for both, men and women to succeed.
Women have been playing a significant role in influencing decisions regarding property. While it would be interesting to observe some marketing campaigns centering on the woman buyer, more and more real estate developers are recognising the significance of the female populace as an important consumer base.
(The writer is managing director, Century Real Estate)