Research Women's Month 2021

Battle of the sexes: the gap between female and male property investors widens

Data by Lightstone Property has revealed that more women are purchasing property than men. Over January 2019 to June 2021, women have bought more properties than men across every quarter.

The volume of female transactions surpassed male transactions in 2009 and the gap has increased since then, accelerating in the past two years. These findings emerge from the analysis of data on female property buyers over the January 2019 to June 2021 period in which sales after the hard lockdown of 2020’s second quarter have been consistently higher than in the five quarters preceding it.

Total female buyers versus total male buyers

On average, there has been consistent growth in the number of female property buyers when compared to male buyers” comments Hayley Ivins-Downes, Head of Digital at Lightstone. “While the trendline for total number of female and male buyers is increasing steadily over the period, the gap between female and male buyers is widening”.

Female, male, and joint buyers by quarter from 2019 to 2021’s second quarter

While there is a growing number of females purchasing property, both female and male buyers prefer to purchase property jointly.

Female-only buyers account for between 22% – 23% of all transfers by private individuals and when combined with joint male-female purchases, the number rises to between 49% – 50%” she notes.

Lightstone data also indicates that the percentage of female-only transfers is increasing, as well as first-time female buyers.

Female buyers: price bands

Our records show that a total of 53% of female buyers purchased homes in the R500 000 to R1.5 million price bracket during the last twelve months, with 22% buying in the R1.5 million to R3 million range. 19% were buying properties valued at less than R500 000 and 6% were buying homes valued at more than R3 million,” says Ivins-Downes.

Current age of female buyers

The majority of female buyers are between 24-41 years old, with the next largest category being the 50-64 age group, followed closely by 42-49 year olds.

Female buyers: type of property bought

“Most female buyers opt for freehold properties, with the percentage remaining consistent at 53% from 2018 to 2021,sectional title’ has hovered at just under 30% with estates remaining stable at around 17%.”

Buyers per province

Notably, Gauteng is the most popular province for female buyers, followed by Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

It is interesting to note that despite an increase in semigration trends within South Africa and more people moving towards Mpumalanga and the coast, female buyers still predominantly prefer Gauteng. We may even see further growth in female buyers over the next quarter, due to the prime lending rate staying at 7%” Ivins-Downes concludes.