John McGrath – Survey shows women prefer apartments in blue-chip areas
A new survey from CoreLogic indicates female buyers generally prefer apartments over houses, and they tend to favour the blue-chip areas of our major cities.
That’s the findings in CoreLogic’s 2022 Women & Property Report for Australia and New Zealand, which was recently released on International Women’s Day.
Overall, the survey showed that women continue to have slightly lesser rates of home ownership than men. In January 2022 in Australia, 26.6% of residential property was exclusively owned by women and 29.9% by men.
This has been a long-term trend, and one of the explanations for this is the pay gap between men and women. According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the pay gap in full time ordinary earnings is now 13.8%. CoreLogic calculates that this means men can save a 20% deposit about a year earlier than women, on average.
The report also reveals that female property ownership is higher for apartments at 35.2% compared to men at 34.7%. Male ownership of houses is higher at 28.5% compared to women at 24%.
This might be because apartments are generally more affordable than houses, and they also provide more security due to their elevation and, often, a secure main entry.
The survey also found that women prefer blue-chip markets. In Sydney, the areas with the highest rates of female property ownership are the affluent Eastern Suburbs (37.1%), North Sydney/Hornsby (37%) and City/Inner South (36.2%).
It’s a similar trend in Melbourne, with the highest rates of female property ownership in the Inner City (33.9%) and Inner East (33.5%). In Brisbane, women prefer the Inner City (30.1%) and South Brisbane (27.9%).
There is also some correlation between gender home ownership and jobs. For example, more men own houses in regional Western Australia, which has many mining towns. More men work in the mines, so it’s not surprising that there’s a higher rate of male ownership in resource-based towns.
The data indicates that more women are buying their own homes, with a slight increase year-on-year while men’s ownership is decreasing. In 2021, 28.3% of property purchases were by women, up from 27.4% in 2020 and 27.3% in 2019. Over the same period, the portion of purchases by men declined from 29.6% in 2020 to 28.7% in 2021.
I think this is happening because single career women, in particular, have become an influential buying force in the Australian property market.
When I started in real estate, it was very rare to conduct an auction and have a 28-year-old female on her own buy the property. It didn’t happen often. Nowadays when you put a well-located, beautifully designed apartment block on the market the first 10 apartments will be sold to single career women.
From my experience, women tend to have great intuition and a sixth sense about good properties and good locations. They are often very good at visualising the potential of a property. I think rising rates of female home ownership will continue, particularly as more young people delay marriage and having a family, and prioritise home ownership.