New research has highlighted the disparity between property investor genders with 27% of women indicating they own investment property. The 2022 PIPA Annual Investor Sentiment Survey asked survey respondents for their gender for the first time in its eight-year history.
What do the findings mean for women?
The co-authors of the 2022 Australian personal finance and investment business book of the year, The Female Investor: Creating Wealth, Security & Freedom Through Property, Nicola McDougall and Kate Hill, said lower rates was another financial headwind women faced.
“Women have to navigate the gender pay gap, much lower superannuation balances, and poorer financial outcomes post-divorce – all of which will mean they will have inferior financial outcomes throughout their lives and in retirement,” Adviseable Property Buyer Ms Hill said.
“The fact that women only represent a smidge over a quarter of all property investors is another factor that shows women aren’t on the same financial footing as men in Australia.”
Nicola McDougall, who is also the chair of PIPA, said many women may have been nervous about purchasing a property, either as a home or an investment, in years gone by, but there is plenty of expert advice and guidance available these days to assist them on this subject.
“Society has changed significantly since the days when women stayed at home to look after their children while their husbands were the breadwinners. However, more research and lived experiences are proving that the financial outcomes for women are generally going to be poorer than men – and especially for those who separate or divorce,” Ms McDougall said.
How can more women join this investment vehicle?
Ms Hill said ample opportunities currently exist for women to buy a home or investment property to shore up their financial futures. “Market conditions are highly supportive at present given softer property prices and lower buyer demand. Prospective property owners are also in the box seat from a lending perspective at the moment, too,” she said.
“The next six months will deliver ideal market conditions for any woman who wants to improve their financial situation via strategic property ownership,” Ms Hill further said.
Ms McDougall said the difference that one or two properties can make to a women’s financial independence throughout their lives shouldn’t be underestimated. “I bought three properties as a single woman and retained financial independence from my husband,” she said.
“This means that if our relationship ends, we can move on with our lives relatively seamlessly given we have financial independence from each other and are therefore unlikely to ever wind up in Family Court for months or even years on end,” Ms McDougall further commented.