4 FEB - Cynthia Peretz Lifestyle - Web-35

Women buyers move into the property market making their mark

The number of women who bought a home last year has risen to nearly match male buyers, despite the persistent gender pay gap and multiple lockdowns during the pandemic, analysis by CoreLogic shows.

During the past year, the share of property purchases by women climbed by 0.9 percentage point to 28.3 per cent from 2020. Over the same period, the proportion of homes bought by men dropped by a similar amount to 29.6 per cent.

There was a time when owning a home was something many women put off until the “right time” came: once the travel itch has been scratched, once the right life partner has been found, or once they have earned enough. But not any more.

Single women have become one of the fast-growing home buyer demographics in the market, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Why are single female home buyers outpacing men?

Given these differences, how is it that single women are buying more homes than single men?

Their lower incomes and the prospect of lower retirement savings may make young women more focused on financial security than young men. Studies show that women tend to be more risk-averse and make more conservative financial decisions. Single women may also be caring for children or aging parents, making security over the long haul a primary goal. And like all home buyers, single women enjoy tax benefits from homeownership. All of these factors contribute to single women wanting to buy a house as soon as possible.

Single women buyers also may have an easier time buying a home because, thanks to their history of regularly paying bills and loans on time, their average credit score is well over 700.

Buying a home as a single woman

If you are a single woman aspiring to homeownership, take these steps toward your dream.

  • Before applying for a mortgage, pull a free copy of your credit report to learn your credit score. Contact the credit agencies to correct any errors.
  • Strive to save a 20 percent down payment. This strengthens your mortgage application. With this much put down, you won’t be required to buy mortgage insurance. This means your monthly payment will be lower.
  • Use a mortgage broker to shop for the best interest rate and terms. Then get preapproved for a mortgage to show that you’re a serious buyer. This is a more substantial step than becoming prequalified, which is a more cursory look at your creditworthiness.
  • Consider taking in a roommate to help with mortgage costs. If this interests you, look for a home with space suitable for a tenant.

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