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Women’s empowerment can receive a big boost from women owning property. 5 reasons Indian women need to invest in property.
Indian women today are more self-sufficient than ever before as is evident from the fact that a larger number of women are getting educated outside their hometowns, that they are stepping out of the home to join the workforce in increasing numbers, and the fact that they are making more independent social choices like marrying at later ages and living solo.
Women’s empowerment and the changing socio-economic dynamics in India call for a closer look at why Indian women need to invest, and in what areas. With a focus on attaining stability, security and even wealth, Indian women have to make a critical decision – that of real estate.
In this article, we look at five reasons why Indian women need to invest in property:
As women increasingly occupy the formal workplace, their incomes are on the rise, and as a result they have money in their hand. While rising prices, more consumer goods and other demands of the modern life mean that a fair bit of these incomes go into spending, two income households and a rise in overall level of incomes also means more money to save. Since property investments can save on rents and give good returns over time, it is one of the important options to consider.
In a bid to encourage Indian women to invest in real estate, a number of state governments like Delhi and Gujarat have waived off registration on property purchase by women. While this is a relatively small proportion of the total amount spent on property, it is still an appreciable sum in absolute numbers. Already, in Gujarat, there have been reports of a rise in property ownership by women. While this does not necessarily reflect that more women are investing in property – as menfolk of a family can buy property in the woman’s name to avail of the waiver in registration – it does encourage women to invest in property too.
Any financial advisor will recommend having a diversified investment basket with equities, debt, commodities and real estate as the major choices. This helps in lowering the risk profile of the investor on the one hand and also allows the investor to be rewarded for high risk-high return investments. At present, property is seen as an attractive investment since equities have not performed very well in recent years, debt offers limited fixed return, and prices of commodities like gold have also started coming down now.
As more and more Indian women get educated and join the workforce, the average age of marriage in a segment of the Indian population is on the rise. Added to this is the fact that education and work are often away from the hometown, so single women living independently is a common feature today, especially in the metros. This in effect means that women rent houses independently as they start working. A regular salary is a good place to start when thinking of investments, and if cash is spent on rents, when possible, putting it into an appreciating asset like real estate can actually be a good decision.
Not only is the average age of marriage on the rise, but single people are increasingly beginning to remain so. According to research by Euromonitor, India is one of the 3 countries with the fastest growth in the single population, the other two being Brazil and China. This means that more and more people are now choosing to stay single, particularly as women become financially independent and are able to provide for themselves. In this scenario, women need to invest in real estate, since it provides security, and a good saving since it generates good returns. Even for those women who are married, divorce rates in India are rising, and property in one’s own name can help money management after divorce (or in other unfortunate circumstances like death of a spouse or needing to walk out of an abusive marriage).
Over time, it is likely that these trends will get further reinforced as the economy grows and develops, since it will create more job opportunities for women, and allow education to reach a larger mass of people. There is a new breed of independent Indian women visible even today and overtime, we will see it evolving further. This calls for a more serious thought on how and why women need to invest – and having a house of one’s own could be a very good idea!
*Photo credit: Images Of Money (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)
Manika is an entrepreneur and the founder of Orbis Economics, a research and content organisation
verygood article. i m 33 n single female…so i really blv tht financial security is must…and have invested in property acordingly. 1 query i have…does having a prop[erty registered in a female name..bring down the registration costs..i have heard it does..but dnt knw the specifics..if u can guide that will be great! 🙂
hi AKS, i did buy a property and the registration costs was lesser as compared to that when its registered for a male.
I bought it 3 years back and the registration rates vary according to state, property size etc.
I always believed this was a better option than gold or any other kind of jewelery any day!
superb.. i completely agree..
but one factor that is missing –
parents need to ensure thay the girl has a home to her name before they think od marrying her off…
i strongly advice this to most fathers… A girl shd be independent and shd never feel she has no home of her own..One of the key reasons many women lose their identity after marriage…
You are absolutely right, Vandana
Very true and please put it in girl’s name only… women empowerment starts by making sure that she has a place to go and not allow anyone walk all over her post marriage just because she has nowhere else to go….women still own only 1 % of the earth, when so many women work and they are half the productive force of a country and that is sad….
I believe and practice most for this cause .
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