Ntozake Shang once said – “Where there is a woman, there is magic”. In tune with the global phenomenon, women are increasingly becoming independent economically. Investing in real estate is yet another step forward towards financial wellness.
A research by Economic Times unveiled that for almost 42% of womenfolk, real estate is a handpicked investment choice. Another straw poll by ANAROCK Property Consultants states that women’s inclination for real estate has sprung up from 57% in pre-covid-19 to 62% post-pandemic.
Let’s go through the women-centric laws for owning a property in the current state of affairs.
1. Partial waiver on stamp duty
Stamp duty is the amount that the purchaser is required to fork out for registration of the property in the Indian government’s records. The stamp duty is 1% less for women in most of the Indian states. Whether the woman is a sole or joint owner of the property or the property has been gifted to her, the benefits of partial waiver on stamp duty can be availed.
2. Lower rate of interest in home loan
Banks or HFCs offer rebate to women who are the sole owners or first co-applicants. In ‘Her Ghar’ scheme by SBI, there is no processing fee for women home loan applicants. ‘Women Power’ by HDFC, and Mahila Awas loan are similar schemes. For loan size up to 30 lakhs, the ongoing home loan rate of interest for women at SBI is 6.80%. Nonetheless, the same is 7% for men.
3. Increased home loan eligibility
If the lady of the house is an earning member, co-ownership is a good option. This can increase the loan amount considering the combined incomes of both the applicants.
4. Tax benefits
In co-ownership, if the wife has a separate source of income and is a co-applicant, both of them can claim tax deductions individually under Section 80C and Section 24. Additional tax deduction benefit is available for first-time home buyers under Sections 80EE and 80EEA. Even if the lady is just a borrower, she would still be eligible to claim tax deductions on her salaried income. Both men and women are entitled to a tax deduction on interest paid up to Rs 2 lakh on loan availed for purchase and construction of homes. There is an extra deduction of interest up to Rs 1.5 lakh every financial year, if the house is self-occupied.
5. Government schemes
The central government plus many state governments, have taken initiative for encouraging women to lay out money in realty. The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) launched in June 2015, has further stimulated the investment by womenfolk in residential real estate. Females procuring a housing loan under Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) benefit from concessions on interest. Women borrowers from the economically weaker section (those earning up to Rs 3 lakhs per annum) and low-income group (LIG) category are eligible for an interest subsidy of 6.5% on housing loans of up to Rs 6 lakhs. Besides, there are special women’s day sweeteners from developers.
6. Ease up succession issues
In case of co-ownership, both husband and wife have equal succession rights. In the event of demise of either of the two, the other partner gets the proprietary rights. No other family member has any day in this. Also, one does not have to spend on mutation charges (change of title ownership in government records).
However, the reality is far from the black letter of the law since even now only one in ten women are aware of the rights they are capable of exercising.