Your Money: The time to buy an affordable home is now

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By Ravi Subramanian

Buying your home just got easier, with low property rates, government incentives, mortgage rates at a 15-year low. Estimates suggest that over 600 million people will be living in urban India by 2031. This projected growth of 51% since 2011 has warranted the need to roll out cost-effective housing options, as more and more young people migrate to towns and cities in search of better economic opportunities.

Affordable housingProspective home owners in the 18-60 years age group can avail housing loans under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme with interest subsidy starting at 6.50% per annum, for up to 20 years. Of PMAY’s four objectives, the Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme—launched in 2017—is the only scheme that has been implemented as a central sector scheme. The Union Budget for 2021extended the PMAY (Urban) deadline for lower income groups and economically weaker sections till March 2022.

Availing loanMany housing finance companies today offer affordable housing loans with a few specialising in this segment and most offer loans under the PMAY scheme too. Any salaried individual, self-employed professional/non-professional, or non-individual entity can avail subsidy benefits of up to Rs 2.67 lakh on such home loans. Further, getting a home loan is quicker due to flexible eligibility norms and basic document requirements for the affordable housing scheme.

Customers can also apply online for such loans on the scheme’s official website ‘https://pmaymis.gov.in/’. Prospective borrowers will need to log in to the website, choose the eligible category they fall under, verify the Aadhar or UIDAI number and add their personal details such as income, employment status and loan tenure. Once sanctioned, both the loan amount and the subsidy will be transferred directly to the borrower’s bank account.

Existing borrowers that have been paying higher interest rates on their affordable home loans can also opt to switch their loans to a financial lender of their choice that offers lower rates. Salaried customers can avail loans of up to Rs 20 lakh whereas self-employed clients can take loans of up to Rs 50 lakh.

Benefits to women borrowersMany lenders offer additional benefits to women borrowers to encourage them to buy homes or become co-applicants for home loans.

Adding a co-applicant can help increase your home loan eligibility, in addition to getting better interest rates in the case of women co-applicants.

The writer is MD & CEO, Shriram Housing Finance