Why do Indians see such deep significance in buying a home during the festive season? Is it really only about the freebies and schemes that some developers offer? This is a myth which needs to be debunked. To understand the real basis of this traditional trend, one needs to grasp the key concepts behind the Indian festive period — security and prosperity.
It is a well-known fact that one can judge a country’s economy on the basis of its real estate market. However, the traditional correlation between housing and personal security, wealth creation and financial growth is far more important, yet far less discussed.
Housing is among the most fundamental of all human needs. It is only when people’s housing needs are adequately addressed that they can turn their attention and resources towards securing the family’s future. The generation of financial resources to sustain the family over the long haul can only begin in earnest when the family’s housing needs are adequately met. Until then, there is a disturbing sense of incompleteness and insecurity.
It is only when the family is secured in a self-owned home that actual wealth creation can truly begin. This is also the point at which an Indian household tends to contribute more to the economy. This is true regardless of whether the home has been bought outright or via a loan. While monthly rents are simply a heavy recurring expense, EMIs towards a home loan are actual investments.
Operating from this newly emancipated mindset, the family will now put more money into lifestyle-enhancing goods and services, maintenance and home improvements. It will also pay property tax — and, with increased financial security, often invest surplus income in schemes and instruments that fund infrastructure projects and keep industries afloat.
In India, a self-owned home is in itself perceived as the cornerstone of personal wealth and the family’s assured long-term financial security. This is why the purchase of permanent homes is such an important feature of a festive season that denotes prosperity and happiness. With this milestone, the family has put the bondage of monthly rent, landlords’ whims and other subtle restrictions to growth behind it. It can now embark on the journey of building a secure financial base for the current and future generations.
There are also other reasons why Indian families buy homes during the festive season. By doing so, families embrace the assurance that their adults will have the dignity of a place to live in during their golden years, and that their children will grow up in a secured environment that they will eventually inherit.
The family is putting down permanent roots, often after years of perceiving itself helplessly at the mercy of unpredictable forces. The appreciating value of the purchased property also stands as a firm fortress wall between the family and financial setbacks. Owned property is a tangible asset against which a loan can be procured in an emergency.
Given all these factors, it makes perfect sense that Indian families prefer to buy their homes during a period of high religious sentiment. The human spirit’s quest for higher ideals can only begin when it has a safe harbour to anchor in.
Perhaps it is appropriate to recognise this deeper significance of buying a home during the festive period — and to understand that it is less about freebies than about freedom.
– (The author is Managing Director of the Pride Group)