SINCE 1997

Women closing property investment gap but disparities remain

Perhaps the biggest transformation in the composition of property investors in the past decade is the proportion of female investors entering the property market.

Woman enjoys the nature while sits on sunbed on wooden terrace near the modern house with panoramic windows near pine forest while hugs her pet dog.
Poverty rates are 42 per cent among Australian renters over 65, compared to just 6 per cent for homeowners.

The real estate price boom of the past 18 months has been a windfall for those already in the market who have seen values skyrocket, but tricky for those looking to enter the investment market, especially women who are disadvantaged by the gender pay gap.

As the period of low-interest rates is projected to wind down in 2022, it’s leaving a huge inequality gap in its wake.

For those women who have been investing for decades, it’s a different story.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 15.7 per cent of Australian taxpayers have an investment property, with most of those owning one.

Property investors are on an average net income of well below $100,000, while 45 per cent of Australian investors earn less than $50,000 per year, suggesting investing in property is well within the financial means of many women.

Just over half of Australian property investors are under 50 years-of-age but the share of those investors aged above 60 has almost doubled during the last decade as Australia’s population ages in tandem with booming property prices.

Perhaps the biggest transformation is the proportion of female investors who are entering the property market.

According to ABS data, almost half (47 per cent) of property investors are now female, up from a mere 20 per cent in the last decade.

Poverty implications

Data from CoreLogic’s report, Women & Property: One Year On suggests, however, women have been disproportionately disadvantaged by those soaring real estate gains as they have lower property ownership rates than men.

This is a potentially a serious loss for national economic and social health, as research indicates that when women invest in property, they’re driven more by ethical considerations, be it providing accommodation for their family, creating a nest egg for the next generation, providing a roof for society’s vulnerable, or to share the proceeds with others by creating generational wealth.

Another finding from CoreLogic’s report points to real estate ownership playing a role in reducing the likelihood of poverty by retirement age.

Poverty rates are 42 per cent among Australian renters over 65, compared to just 6 per cent for homeowners.

An interesting dimension to wealth creation among women illuminated by CoreLogic is the difference between male and female ownership rates for detached houses. Women owned 24.0 per cent and had partial ownership of 71.5 per cent through joint ownership, compared to men, who owned 28.5 per cent of houses and had part ownership of 76.0 per cent of houses.

With wealth comes the freedom to live the life we desire on our terms, free from feeling stuck in an unfulfilling job or worrying about how to pay ever-increasing bills.

With more and more women entering the property market, a change will come in the way property is handed down to the next generation.

There are many seasoned women investors primed to leave a legacy of generational wealth and it will come on the back of the extraordinary growth in property that has happened over several property cycles in past decades and more noticeably in the past 18 months.

The Federal Government inquiry into affordability has also been released this week, offering up a range of recommendations for the Federal Government to improve the current market squeeze.

Property investing is a long-term proposition.

Generational wealth pays it forward to the next generation, positioning them for more options when it comes to freedom in lifestyle, community and philanthropic pursuits.

If women are to continue closing the property ownership gap, achieve financial independence and pave the way for accumulating generational wealth, Australians need to consider adopting a laser sharp strategy on property acquisition and portfolio-building to achieve those lofty goals.

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