More South African women – especially single women – are buying property for financial security and to generate an additional income.
“The Sheconomy is gaining momentum as women increasingly take charge of their financial independence. Although women still earn disproportionately less than men, the salary gap is narrowing, and women have more buying power than before,” says Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond. “They are buying property to assert their financial status, to provide security for their families and to generate an additional income.” Globally, women make up 48% of the economy and 35% of the workforce, according to the Global Sheconomy Research Report (2022). The Sheconomy is set to outpace the economies of the world’s largest nations within the next five years. The report also says women from emerging economies, such as South Africa, represent some of the foremost investment opportunities, particularly when it comes to real estate.
Women, either on their own or in partnerships, own more than half of registered properties in SA, according to Lightstone. And more women are opting to do it on their own. At The Property Show late last year, Marika Grové of RE/MAX said the number of female property buyers increased from 36% in 2019, to 43% in 2020. “This is partly because women are getting married later and investing in property on their own without a spouse or partner,” says Coetzee. StatsSA reports that the median age for women to marry has shifted from 31 to 33 in the past decade. Men usually get married at around 37 years of age. “Interestingly, the average purchase price of properties for buyers in the 30 to 40 age group has increased by 8.23% to R1.5 million, according to BetterBond data for January, bolstered in part by the fact that more women are focusing on careers and financial stability before settling down,” notes Coetzee.
“So powerful is the Sheconomy that Lightstone reports single women property buyers outnumbered men and married buyers over a five-year period from 2015 to 2020. Anecdotal feedback from our real estate partners suggests that this is still the case, as more women look to property for financial security.” Many of these buyers will opt for sectional title properties that offer peace of mind, minimal maintenance and a sense of community. “Affordability is always a consideration and the recent 10% rise in the transfer duty threshold to R1.1 million, will give more women an opportunity to buy property. Lightstone puts the current average price of a sectional title property at R1.066 million, well within the R1.1 million transfer duty threshold.”
Women are not only seeing property as a long-term investment, they are also seeing it as a means of generating additional income. The Airbnb financial report for the last quarter of 2022 states that the majority of hosts are listing homes in which they live, and more than half of these are women.
Proptech further empowers women to take control of their homebuying, adds Coetzee. “Women can apply for bond pre-approval at no cost and at any time of day or night, via the BetterBond website. The convenience of an always-on solution is huge for homebuyers – available online and therefore wherever, whenever suits them. The information on a home loan pre-approval can also be used for their bond application, which can also be done online at any time.” Always-on access empowers women to make their own financial decisions at a time that suits them. “This is in line with the theme of International Women’s Day (8 March) – ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’. BetterBond also offers easy access to online calculators on our website, where women can work out exactly what they can afford, and what their bond repayments will be. This puts the power to establish their presence in SA’s property market, at their fingertips and delivers access and convenience to every woman wanting to own her own home.”
Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.
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