22 Sep Women prove they’re FAB when it comes to home ownership
“Girls just wanna have fun” sang Cindi Lauper way back in 1983. That may have been true then, but new statistics are showing that the girls have taken huge strides in the responsibilities of home ownership.
Research from building societies and financial institutions is showing that single women are outstripping single men in home ownership, with 1 in 7 women buying a home on their own and accounting for 17% of all new mortgage lending.
So what accounts for the rise in ‘FAB’ (Female And Buying) homeowners? According to property expert, Steven Greenfield from leading estate agent, Courtney Green, it’s to do with changing times. Steven says,
“Certainly we’ve noticed a significant increase in the amount of local young women looking to get on the property ladder. There seems to be a massive cultural shift where women are no longer waiting for ‘Mr Right’ to come along and provide a home.
Out of all the single first time buyers under 35 we have helped find a home over the last 2 years, I’d estimate that around 75% are women.”
According to the Office of National Statistics the number of single women aged between 25 and 45 years old has doubled in the last two decades, with the correlating effect on the house buying market. Another factor is the closing gap between men and women’s pay; more single women find that owning a property is within their reach and are reacting accordingly.
It seems that this independence and confidence makes the girls outstrip the guys, who are altogether more reticent when it comes to home buying. Building Society figures show that 73% of women bought their first home on their own, compared to 48% of men.
Mary Gallacher, (28) a marketing account manager from Billingshurst, feels that regular employment is certainly a factor in her decision to buy her own home. “I’m certainly not waiting for Mr Right to provide me with a home”, she says. “I honestly think that women mature earlier than men and can handle the responsibility of home ownership. Many of my single female friends don’t want to rent, but do want to invest in their own property”.
Martin Duval (26), a graphic designer from Worthing, is more cautious. Currently living with parents and hoping to move in with his girlfriend in the near future, Martin admits that his male peer group are more likely to rent, especially in a group,
“Buying a home is a big commitment both financially and geographically. If you have a mortgage you can’t suddenly decide to go travelling or relocate to another part of the country.”
Home represents security, safety and comfort and it seems that single women are keener to buy into this than single men, so does this reflect a difference in their attitude to risk-taking? Many female survey participants said they would compromise on the more superficial aspects of home ownership for example buying a property in need of some renovation, whereas the males surveyed had a ‘bachelor pad’ in mind.
Certainly the statistics would bear this out and as the number of female single home owners continues to rise it represents a significant shift in the house buying market.