Women across Australia are taking over the reins when it comes to the property market, with findings from Westpac’s annual Home Ownership Report showing women are now significantly more likely than men to be considering a range of housing actionsin the next five years (71% vs men 61%). The research surveyed over 1,000 Australian home owners and first home buyers about their home ownership aspirations over the next five years. The latest report shows women are taking the lead across the board, including buying a home to live in (28% vs men 20%), buying an investment property (16% vs men 13%), renovating (29% vs men 27%), and selling a home (17% vs men 14%).
This is supported by the latest ABS housing statistics, which show 60% of women live in homes they own outright or are paying the mortgage off on, compared to 56% of men, and more women (23%) than men (20%) own their homes outright. Female attitudes towards home ownership have also seen a major shift in the past year, with significant increases in female first home buyers who strongly believe that ‘owning your own home is a reflection of your success in life’ and that ‘property is a pathway to wealth’, increasing by 26% and 10% respectively since 2016. Women are also more likely to strongly believe both statements than their male counterparts.
Head of Women’s Markets for Westpac Group, Felicity Duffy, said that many women are increasingly looking to build their wealth through purchasing an investment property or buying a home.
“Women have a lot to take into consideration when it comes to looking after their finances throughout their lifetime. Whether it’s taking time out of the workforce to have children or care for elderly relatives, concerns about gender pay gap issues or just living longer lives, all these things can impact a woman’s short term and long term financial security,” Ms Duffy said. “It seems women are becoming savvier in the property market, and understand that home ownership can lead to greater financial security. Our research also suggests that women are outpacing men when it comes to property investment.”
Finding a home that is move-in ready has become less essential to female first home buyers, decreasing by 19% since 2016, while male first home buyers are more likely to consider this an essential, suggesting women may be more willing to undertake a renovation project than men. This report also shows female first home buyers were twice as likely as men to consider good investment potential in a home as essential (35% vs men 18%) and were also twice as likely to consider buying an investment property in the next five years (22% vs men 11%).