Research

Steady inflow of first time women buyers to the housing market

Women home owners have grown to just under 35% of the FNB affordable housing market, and with general overall good management of their home loan accounts, are well positioned to take financial advantage of home ownership.

“Over the last five years we have seen a steady increase from 33% to 35% of women bond holders in our Housing Finance book,” says Dr Simphiwe Madikizela, head of projects at FNB Housing Finance. “Women in general appear to be the glue that binds communities together and this is confirmed by the risk assessment of the group.”

In FNB Housing Finance, FNB’s affordable housing division, 96% of all purchases are first time buyers.

“We are seeing a steady inflow of first time women buyers to the market,” says Madikizela.

The majority of FNB Housing Finance women customers are aged 30 to 40 years.

According to the Housing Finance data single women bond holders have the lowest default rate, and, notably, where the woman is the primary applicant in a joint bond this default rate is also lower than when the primary applicant is the male.

“According to our data, when the woman is the main bond holder, they are more diligent about looking after their home loans accounts,” says Madikizela.

More women are making use of salary deductions around 7% above the book average.

FNB Housing Finance encourages the use of payroll deduction to service a home loan as it has direct benefits to the consumer including a better risk profile with the bank, less chance of defaulting as well as additional advantages such as possible savings on interest rate and a better credit rating with the bureaus.

Home ownership can be one of the best ways of creating wealth as it encourages forced savings into an asset that, in general, increases in value over time.

“Good home loan management means that every month the home owner is putting equity into their bond,” says Madikizela. “The fact that women appear to be more diligent than men around managing their bonds shows that they are well positioned to take financial advantage of home ownership.”