A study released by FNB showed that between 2016 and 2018 the number of home buyers increased from 48% to 56%. Within that period, the percentage of female buyers surged from 22% to 27% while the male buying population remained steady between 27% to 29%.
According to Lee Mhlongo, chief executive of FNB Home Finance, the average age of increasing female buyers is 35 and attributes the growth to financial stability, considering that financial institutions look at affordability, a clean credit record and sometimes require a deposit.
“Property ownership remains the vital foundation on which socio-economic transformation take place,” said Mhlongo. “The empowering impact of owning your own property should never be underestimated.”
Myles Wakefield, chief executive of Wakefields Real Estate, said globally more female professionals were opting for an independent lifestyle which included being a homeowner.
“If a young, employed South African woman can pay R9000 as a home loan repayment as opposed to R8000 on rental, they will choose ownership and investment over the uncertainty of the rental life,” said Wakefields.
Though Wakefield has not particularly seen this trend within the family business, he states that this could be an area specific growth adding that suburbs are still seen as predominantly for families whereas mixed use lifestyle such as Gateway is designed to attract young buyers.
“There’s been an increase in the residential or mixed use developments which are attractive to single people in particular women, the gated security type units which are well matched to a single lifestyle,” he said. “As a single person affordability is always going to be a starting point.”
Michele Wilson, principal estate agent at Seeff Hillcrest, said millennials were now remaining single a lot longer, but had the wisdom to get themselves into property as a means to create wealth.
“Young women are capable of securing many top positions in their field of expertise and they have the power to acknowledge that they too can contribute to the foundation of their families’ future,” said Mhlongo