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The Experts

More young women buying property

John McGrath
Thursday, April 11, 2019

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When I started in real estate in the 1980s, it was very rare to conduct an auction and have a 28-year-old female on her own buy the property. Today, it’s normal and right now it seems that falling prices are inspiring more young women than men to buy their first home or investment.  

Many young women today are independent, financially secure and career-oriented. They have no plans for a family before age 30 and buying a property is often their priority ahead of what can be an expensive wedding.

Women equate property with security and are increasingly viewing home ownership as a sign of their success.

More women than men intend to buy a home or investment property over the next five years, according to Westpac’s 2018 Home Ownership Report.

The report revealed that a survey of 1,047 home owners and first home buyers found 28% of all women were looking to buy a home for themselves over the next five years, compared to 20% of men; and 16% were looking for an investment property compared to 13% of men.

The report mirrors long term trends revealed in the ABS Gender Indicators report published in 2017, which shows 60% of all Australian women live in homes they own either outright or with a loan compared to 56% of all men. The gender gap is slightly wider amongst younger Australians, with 26% of women aged below 35 years having a mortgage compared to 20% of men in the same age bracket.

Young female buyers are often well educated and clued in on the economy. They’re looking to make smart decisions with their money.

With Sydney and Melbourne property values down 10-15%, I think it’s an especially great time to buy in our two biggest markets. Looking ahead, I have no doubt that capital growth will continue in these two cities due to the many unique fundamentals supporting home values, including the undersupply of housing and ongoing population growth.

The Australian economy is in good health, with very low unemployment and the first federal budget surplus in 12 years forecast for 2019-20. Economic health is inextricably linked with the property market. A good economy creates confidence to invest in assets.

Young women are increasingly recognising what property can do for them. The Westpac survey found 43% of female first home buyers strongly believed that owning your own home was a ‘reflection of your success in life’, up from 34% the year before. About a third (31%) strongly believed that property was ‘a pathway to wealth’, up from 28%. 

One in five young female first home buyers (22%) were also considering buying an investment property over the next five years compared to one in 10 male first home buyers (11%).

This trend is reflected in new tax statistics released in March by the ATO, which gives a comparison of the number of female property investors compared to male investors earning less than $100,000.

-        In NSW, 209,254 females reported rental income compared to 195,291 men

-        In VIC, 158,231 females reported rental income compared to 150,621 men

-        In QLD, 144,722 females reported rental income compared to 106,506 men

It is clear that young women will continue to be a driving force in the Australian property market.

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2019

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