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Most first home buyers are women – how has that changed the property market?

In 2022, more women than men are first home buyers. It marks a radical shift from just a little more than 30 years ago when Australian women needed a male guarantor to have their own mortgage. These changes could be explained by a changing Australia where societal progression is being made in relation to gender equality. Property is one way to gain equality in Australia, providing owners with short and long-term returns both financially and individually.

Financial advisor and first home buyer, Martina Taylor, bought her first property in Sydney. When we asked Taylor what motivated her investment, she explained: “I entered the property market on my own. It became important for me to achieve the security as well as independence that owning your own home brings.”

Her rationale is shared by many women identified as first-time buyers, with women buying a home for a sense of security, freedom, and stability. And it seems to be primarily women driving the first home buyer market. Associate Director of Belle Property, Charles Bailey, reported that some of his open homes weren’t attracting any interest from male buyers.

When we consider that on average women experience a 12% greater return on their financial investments than men, it speaks to an increased financial literacy among Australian women. Previous generations of women were, broadly, at a financial disadvantage, evidenced by a 73% gap in superannuation reported between men and women in their fifties

The improved position of women in the first home buyer market is not the only change being noticed. The value of home ownership has increased following the COVID-19 pandemic. With Australians spending more time than ever at home, we now view our homes differently. For many of us, homes have been repurposed to serve as a space for living, working, socialising, studying and more. Further to this, it is harder than ever for first-time home owners as property prices have continued to rise while wage growth has trailed behind. The shifting market has seen regional markets gaining traction in their popularity.

With pressures placed financially on first-home buyers and more of the market being driven by women, in 2022 and beyond, the property sector is in a state of evolution as it matches changing buyer interests.

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