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March 20, 2020

Tax Benefits of Investing in Real Estate for Women in India

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In this 21St Century, increasingly, women are becoming highly progressive as well as financially empowered. Initially woman were coy enough to only invest in gold and fixed deposits as primary choices, but now they are bold and ready to make a statement to the world that through their new preference of investment i.e. Real Estate. A recent survey by Anarock, with nearly 20% women participants proved that 42% women of them preferred Real Estate as an investment asset, followed by 30% for FDs and a mere 17% for gold. Hence, women are clearly emerging as a potential homebuyer and the marketers and developers must align their business strategies to allure and include them in their pitches.

This rapid increase in women buyers across the Country has impelled the government to provide added benefits. Therefore, to empower women of low-income segments as per the Housing for All by 2022 mission, the government has now made it mandatory for them to be either co-owners or sole owners of affordable or for luxury flats for sale in Mumbai.

Women can now avail benefits in buying and registering a property in their name. Such as – lower stamp duty charges, low home loan interest rates and tax deductions are some of the benefits. While stamp duty charges are lower if property registration is executed in the name of a woman, these charges vary from state to state. The exemption for women varies between 1-2% across different states.

The stamp duty rates in Maharashtra, recently revised to 5% from the previous 6%, are uniform for both men and women. However, women are entitled to lower stamp duty rates in the other states.

 Finance it right

Many banks such as SBI, ICICI, HDFC, etc. offer discounted home loan rates to women as compared to men. This variation varies from bank to bank and goes up to nearly 1%. Further, to avail certain tax benefits, a woman can also become a joint owner of a property with her husband and, if she has a separate source of income, both can claim tax deductions individually.

 Stamp duty

In the past, it has been observed that property registration is done in the name of a woman of the family to reap the benefits of lower stamp duty, but shortly thereafter, the property is re-registered in the name of the male member. For this reason, some states have barred the re-registration of property in the name of a male before at least one year. The bigger difference of this provision would lie in the fact that it is an incentive for women to purchase homes independently, regardless of marital status, and for properties to be registered in the name of daughters.

 

Explore Women-friendly Schemes

Banks have realized the potential of female buyers and hence have developed Home Loan products exclusively for them. As an aware buyer, one should gather as much information about the products available through various banks because that will help in comparing and choosing the most suitable one. The products offer relaxation in eligibility criteria and interest rates which are less by about 0.15% in comparison to regular rates. The difference might appear negligible but the savings can be more than 1.25 Lacs over a 30-year period. The Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) allows interest subsidy from 2.35 Lakhs to 2.67 Lakhs depending on the economic category. Such programs aim to benefit women beneficiaries especially single working women and widows.

 Thus, the top builder in Mumbai and home loan lenders factor in this vitally important change in their customer demographics and have come up with various offers and incentives to benefit and encourage female home buyers, which will also eventually going give a boost to the real estate industry.

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