Women are taking firmer control of their financial independence, with more applying for bonds to buy a property. In the last decade, the number of applications from women has increased by 12%, with 40% of all applications received this year being from women. Also, in 2010, only 14% of bond grants were for women, and now that number is sitting at 41%.
While there is still a gender pay gap in South Africa – men earn an estimated 35% more than women for doing the same work in some professions – it is encouraging to see the significant growth in bond grants for women. With the current lending environment and interest rates at historic lows, property is now even more accessible to women.
Single women are also thinking of their long-term financial stability and considering property as a viable investment option. Last year, 60% of applications from women were from single women. This supports Lightstone data released this month which shows that over the past five years, single women first-home buyers have outnumbered male, married couples and multiple buyers.
Michelle H, 33, is a South African teaching in China. She found herself stranded in South Africa while here for her summer holiday, because of COVID-19. Looking to supplement her income, and to add to her property portfolio – she already owns two – she decided to invest in two buy-to-let properties in Cresta. Women are no longer waiting until they are married, or have children, to enter the property market. Like Michelle, many are seeing property as a means of establishing their financial independence.
Pule M, 45, initially thought she was too old to buy her first property, as she is eight years older than the average woman who applies for a home loan. But she is one of many who realise that it is never too late to get a foot on the property ladder. All women buyers should have a credit score, and enough cash flow to cover monthly expenses as well as bond repayments. Having a “rainy-day fund” for unexpected expenses, such as home repairs or additional costs, is also recommended.