Mind the gap for women on property ladder

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Australian women are taking longer than men to get on the property ladder, and are more likely to get a smaller share of the gains, new data shows.

Further, soaring property prices in the past year could widen the gender wealth gap, the report released on Tuesday said.

The CoreLogic report said women are more likely to buy units than houses, which have had a smaller rate of gains and put them at a disadvantage for longer-term wealth accumulation.

Australia’s residential property market is now worth $9.7 trillion, with dwellings up a median 22.4 per cent or $130,000 in the past year amid record low interest rates.

But 10-year growth rates are 6.2 per cent per year for houses, and 4.1 per cent per year for units.

“Men are not only accumulating greater wealth from a higher proportion of existing property ownership, but they’re also able to get into the market sooner than women,” CoreLogic spokeswoman Milena Malev said.

“If you don’t own property, that’s a big source of household wealth and security you don’t have access to.”

Despite a tight labour market, the pay gap between men and women has widened, the report found.

This means men, on average, can accumulate a home loan deposit more quickly – taking 79 months to save a 20 per cent deposit compared to 91 months for women.

The report found male ownership is generally higher in markets dominated by detached houses, such as in resource-based markets like Perth.

But even in markets with more gender parity, such as Greater Melbourne, men still owned a higher portion of houses (29.9 per cent) than women (25.7 per cent).

Rates of female home ownership were highest in Greater Sydney (31.9 per cent) and lowest in regional WA (21.7 per cent) and Greater Darwin (24.0 per cent).

The smallest differences in home ownership between men and women were across regional Victoria.

 

Marion Rae
(Australian Associated Press)

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