09 Mar 2018

Girl power driving property market: report finds more women than men buying homes

WOMEN are winning the battle of the sexes in the property sphere as financial challenges like the gender pay gap and taking time off work to have kids push them to find alternative income streams.

This is the finding of Westpac’s latest Home Ownership Report, which reveals Aussie women are now significantly more likely than men to be planning some sort of real estate action in the next five years.

This included buying a home (28 per cent of women versus 20 per cent of men), buying an investment (16 per cent, 13 per cent), selling a property (17 per cent, 14 per cent) and renovating (29 per cent, 27 per cent), according to the survey of more than 1000 Australians.

First home buyers of the fairer sex were twice as likely to consider buying an investment property in the short-term.

Women’s attitudes towards home ownership have also seen a major shift in the past year, with 43 per cent of female first home buyers strongly believing that ‘owning your own home is a reflection of your success in life’, compared with 22 per cent of men.

Westpac head of women’s markets Felicity Duffy said the survey findings foreshadowed a spike in home loan applications from women over the next five years.

She said women faced “unique financial challenges”, including income inequality and having to take time out of their jobs to have children or care for elderly parents, which impacted their short- and long-term security.

“They’re taking matters into their own hands and increasingly investing in property as a potential way to secure their financial futures,” Ms Duffy said.

While traditionally buying a home was something a woman did with her partner, more were entering the market on their own as they became financially independent and got married later in life, she said.

Kate Harder is not your average 19-year-old.

Instead of travelling the world and hitting the pubs and clubs like her peers, the ‘budding property tycoon’ is building her empire.

“I’ve always dreamt of building and owning my own home and plan to build more down the track,” she said.

“My Dad is a builder and I’ve grown up with that mindset.”

Ms Harder is purchasing her first block of land and building a custom designed three bedroom and two bathroom home at Monterea Ripley, a residential village that will feature 900 new homes on about 60ha in Ripley Valley, near Ipswich.

Advantage Property Consulting director Frank Valentic said women in couples also often took the reins in the hunt for family homes.

“‘I’ll have to talk to the boss’ is a common phrase used by a husband discussing investment options if his wife isn’t present,” he said.

“Women are much more focused on leaving a legacy for their children given the challenges of getting kids into the market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.”

 

THE PROPERTY BATTLE OF THE SEXES

Considering a housing action in the next five years (71% women vs. 61% men) including:

—Buying a home: 28% vs. 20%

—Renovating: 29% vs. 27%

—Buying an investment property: 16% vs. 13%

—Selling a home: 17% vs. 14%

Among first-home buyers:

—Considering buying an investment property in the next five years: 22% women vs. 11% men

—Strongly believe owning their own home is a reflection of their success in life: 43% vs. 22%, up from 34% vs. 29% in 2016

—Strongly believe owning a property is a pathway to wealth: 31% vs. 20%

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