“Finally, after decades, the gender gap in property ownership has been steadily closing in recent years, with women taking on more prominent roles in the global real-estate market and although South Africa is only now catching up, they have made significant inroads since 2012 when women accounted for 47% of bond applications,” says Yael Geffen, chief executive officer of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.
“According to ooba the first-time buyer trend started to really shift in 2018, with women now accounting for 53.7% of buyers.”
These figures compare well globally when one considers that in the United States, a 2020 National Association of Realtors (NAR) report revealed that women make up 65% of all home buyers but in the UK, women accounted for approximately 37% of all residential property purchases in the same year. Interestingly, in South Africa, women are now also buying property sooner than their male counterparts.
“The previous average buying age of 34 has shifted up by three years for men but only by one year for women,” says Geffen.“Another interesting fact is that until recently, around 60% of female first-time buyers were purchasing freestanding homes but this has begun to shift and more are now beginning to buy sectional-title units.“
This is partly due to affordability in times of high interest rates and a spiralling cost of living but it’s also because sectional-title homes generally offer better security.
“And, as the gender gap in property ownership continues to shift, what’s also becoming clear is that women are not just home buyers but also savvy investors who understand the long-term benefits of real estate as an asset class.”
Geffen says that there are several factors that are driving women's growing interest in property investment:
Concludes Geffen, “In the coming years, women are expected to have an even greater influence on the global real-estate market, shaping its dynamics and contributing to its growth and diversity.”