Purchase power of women grows in home buying

posted by Reef Hickley

Purchase power of women grows in home buying


Recent Lightstone Properties data has confirmed an acceleration in the purchasing power of women in South Africa. It indicates that the gap between male and female property buyers is widening, with women buying more properties than men in every quarter in the period between January 2019 and June 2021.


Leadhome Properties supports these findings, indicating that there has been a steady increase in women's buying power in the residential property market. Leadhome's stats show that women account for 45% of all property registrations, while 7% are joint registrations.


Leadhome CEO Marcél du Toit says this is fundamentally reshaping the South African property market, which was traditionally dominated by men.


"Today, there are more women in the workplace than ever before, and they're buying homes - no matter the size of their salary. Even when they end up buying jointly with their partners, or in their partner's names, the data suggests that women increasingly have influence and decision-making power, in addition to buying power. "    


Millennial women dominate property market


“Many young women view the buying of property as an investment and an opportunity to build wealth early,” Du Toit comments.

Statistics from Seeff’s mortgage originator, further shows that there are more single women compared to men in their twenties purchasing property. The data indicates a nearly 400% jump from the 21-25 age group to the 26-30 age group, with sales to women peaking in the 31-35 age bracket.


There appears to be a gradual decline in the single name purchases as women get older, implying that it is predominantly millennial women who are purchasing. The older group statistics reflect a pattern of joint property purchasing when earnings rise, marriage occurs and when housing a family in larger sized properties with safe outdoor spaces.


First-time home buyers


More women are now first-time home buyers in South Africa than men, according to Ivins-Downes, of property analytics firm Lightstone. This has already been the trend for the past six years. She adds that black women in particular form an important market segment.   


Women are seemingly taking advantage of the low interest rate environment, and while there has been a marginal 1.8% drop in female loan applications in 2021, female applications continue to outstrip that of male applicants.


The work from home trend has further boosted demand for homeownership among females, especially those who have taken the opportunity to start their own small businesses, or who are in an entrepreneurial or professional role.


Women’s role in the property sector is also varied - from a student looking for student housing options to a working woman looking for a rental home, or a single mother looking for the security of her own home.  


These trends all point to the growing purchasing power of women, and that the volume of transactions by women now surpasses those by men.