Women and the property market
By Ayda Shabanz
Historically, the property market has been a playground for men, especially property investment – much like other non-traditional areas such as mining and construction. Women were involved, but generally only as an onlooker or as part of a combined couple or family effort. Single men have been more likely to collect a property investment portfolio, but more than ever before, women are taking the plunge into the world of property investment themselves. It is no surprise since property assets have so much to offer, not only for men and couples, but single women too.
Options give women a sense of security and confidence, and women who enter the property market feel empowered due to having more options for the future, such as owning a business, travelling or purchasing their dream home.
In addition, they feel more independent and equal in a relationship situation, without even having to compromise the lifestyle they have grown to enjoy.
However, statistics show women still face an uphill battle. According to Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the average man earns $1602 a week, compared to the average woman, who earns $1,325, or 17.3 per cent less.
According to Realestate.com.au, in 2016, men could afford to buy in 883 of the 1660 metropolitan areas, and this was before the height of the property boom, whereas women could only afford to buy in 506 of those areas. When it comes to rent, the story is the same, with the average male salary covering the rent for 1510 of those 1660 suburbs, compared to women who could afford to rent in 1220 metropolitan suburbs.
Similarly, a 2016 report by Ernst and Young showed men outnumbered women three to one in senior leadership positions within the property sector.
Education should be widely available to everyone, particularly women, to help potential property investors think like a ‘business boss’ and to take firm control of the steering wheel to their own lives.
Here are some of the many reasons why women simply cannot go wrong with property investment.
1. Independence is under-rated. Independence brings the opportunity to do what you prefer because you have assets of your very own. Years ago and around the world, women fought for equality – for the right to vote and for the same income as men. Ironically, some women still depend on men for their financial needs and independence. This is something women have historically looked for in a relationship – the ability of being supported. However, if women are independent and able to support themselves, they are more likely to begin a relationship with someone they genuinely love, regardless of their financial security. Remembering that property is the largest asset a person will most likely purchase and own, and to do this as an independent woman is very empowering.
2. Property gives us options we wouldn’t have otherwise had. Purchasing the right investment property need only cost someone as little as $50 a week, and many women wouldn’t even notice these type of repayments. Once you have purchased the property, capital growth results in equity. With equity, you can buy more investment properties, purchase or start a business or even sell it in exchange for a better property with a larger deposit.
3. Remember how bored we were as a child in primary school, and weekends took forever to come around? In contrast, when we get older, time literally flies and we can’t believe it’s the end of yet another year! You are never too young to invest in property – if you are in your early 20s, living with your parents and have enough money saved for a deposit, take the leap. You will be in your 40s and 50s before you know it. The earlier in life you invest, the better off you are as you can leverage more. My advice for women is don’t wait until you are partnered. Your future partner’s opinion isn’t relevant; as you can always change direction once you have met “the one.”
4. The media and some companies do make the process of property investment seem complicated, but it’s actually simple with the right team. You are not expected to change your lifestyle at all. Armed with the right information, you can make a smart decision and continue to live as you do now, except with this asset that has the potential to change your life later down the track.
5. It is also worth mentioning that property investment can also create residual income for the future. With the right conditions, it could replace your income. That’s when a world of options and opportunities really opens up for you!
Ayda Shabanz is a leading national Property and Finance Investment Expert and the Managing Director of Grow Consulting Group. She has helped thousands of people, including the Gen Y population, shape their future through property and manage their cash flow properly. growevents.com.au