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Experts predict single women will dominate real estate market

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72 000 single South Africa women obtained properties in 2018. By Alan Simmonds

More single women are investing in property than ever before. However, they continue to invest in the lower price-end of the market because they just do not earn as much as their male counterparts.

Despite this, experts predict the single woman will dominate the market in the future and at present with Lightstone saying “single females dominate in freehold sales for new properties,” the way the market is trending. Last year 72 000 single South African women bought homes.

“Based on property research group Lightstone statistics, we’re likely to see more women property buyers than men in the next two years; in South Africa about 72 000 single women obtained properties in 2018,” says FNB home finance chief executive Lee Mhlongo.

According to The World Wide Worx “More Month Than Money” survey, 66% of South African women are financially responsible for the entire family.

“Not only are women playing more of an active role in managing a home’s finances, but they are also playing an integral part of the home buying process, now more so than ever before,” says  Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa.

However, the ever-persisting wage gap is what makes it more challenging for females to enter the property market. 

Lightstone Property statistics revealed that while single females lead in terms of sales volume, they are also most active in the lowest price brackets. This is because they are simply not earning the same as men. According to the Global Wage Report for 2018/19, women make on average 28% less than their male equals. When it comes to hourly income, South African men make on average 26.1% more than their female counterparts.

Figures indicate single home buyers dominate Gauteng and Western Cape property markets; married couples outweigh other buyer types in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Last year a US Zillow study indicated although single women could afford to purchase only 39% of homes on the market, they bought at a rate that far exceeded that of single men; 18% of home buyers in 2017 were single women, up from 11% in 1981 according to the US National Association of Realtors, but only 7% of single men bought a home last year.

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