Concerns are growing that women may be missing out on wealth gains in the recent property boom, as affordability and gender pay gap constrain women in property ownership. Image – Canva
  • Women entering property market a year later than men, with ownership disproportionate in unit market due to affordability
  • Disadvantaged in capital growth and investment opportunities, owning just 29.1% of investment properties
  • Data highlights importance for women to take charge of financial futures, says co-author of The Female Investor, Kate Hill

New research has revealed that women continue to face more barriers to entering property ownership than men, including affordability constraints and the gender pay gap.

The annual CoreLogic Women & Property report, released on Tuesday in honour of International Women’s Day, found that the share of property owned by women remains smaller than men.

As a result of these financial hurdles, women are taking longer than men to enter property ownership and are thus potentially disadvantaged by recent capital gains seen by those in the market.

Affordability constraining women to unit ownership

Nicola McDougall and Kate Hill, co-authors of The Female Investor- Creating Wealth, Security, and Freedom through Property and fellow The Property Tribune contributors, said the report highlighted deepening disparities between wealth outcomes for men and women.

Despite greater awareness for the existence of the gender pay gap raised in recent times, the gap continues to widen.

In November of 2020, the pay gap between men and women in full time ordinary earnings was 13.4%, which inflated to 13.8% in November 2021 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“The report also found that it generally takes women one year longer than men to save a deposit for a property because of the gender pay gap, which reduces the potential capital growth that they can earn during ownership as well.”

Nicola McDougall, Co-author of The Female Investor

Nicola McDougall Female Investor
Nicola McDougall, Co-author of The Female Investor. Image – Supplied

The report found that women own 26.6% of residential property in Australia, a relatively smaller portion than men who own 29.9%.

Men also dominated the share of all houses analysed, owning 28.5% in comparison to the 24% owned by women.

As a consequence of pay disparity, women are more reliant upon the more affordable housing options of units.

Women are over-represented in unit ownership statistics, comprising 35.2% of owners as compared to men’s 34.7%.

“As is mentioned in the report, given that most people’s wealth is tied up in their
homes, this means that if you don’t own a property – or have to purchase a unit
rather than a house due to affordability reasons – then you will forever be on the
back foot financially,” Ms McDougall said.

Ms Hill said the higher portion of female ownership for units was unsurprising given their more affordable nature, but noted these women may struggle to ever upgrade to a house.

Barriers to wealth gains and investment opportunities

With the housing values in Perth continuing to climb creating opportunity for capital growth, there are concerns women may be missing out due to the disparity between house and unit price growth.

According to CoreLogic, the 10-year growth rate for houses in Australia was 6.2% while units lagged behind, growing 4.1% in the same period.

“This means that women who have managed to purchase a unit are not seeing the value of their properties increase by the same percentage as houses, which often prevents them from upgrading to a house and also reduces their overall wealth position at retirement.”

Kate Hill, Co-author of The Female Investor

Kate Hill Female Investor
Kate Hill, Co-author of The Female Investor. Image – Supplied

Women are also at a disadvantage in the property investment scene, owning just 29.1% of all investment properties analysed, while men own 36.4%.

This translates to an approximate difference of 105,500 investment properties, and accounts for close to 70% of the discrepancy between male and female property ownership.

“The new research highlights why it’s so important for women to take charge of their
financial futures as well as improve their overall financial literacy so they understand
the serious role that property ownership plays in their long-term financial security and
stability,” Ms Hill concluded.

You May Also Like

Australian property markets getting a second wind

See the Australian locations experiencing renewed property price growth.

Adding a trillion dollars in housing over the next five years, an important piece of the property funding puzzle

Why foreign investment is essential to meeting Australia’s ambitious housing goals.

Five reasons why decarbonisation is a daunting frontier for construction

With the built environment accounting for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions, there is growing pressure to make substantial changes and soon.