Women take the lead in home buying decisions

Private Property South Africa
Tahir Desai

There was a time when men were considered to be firmly in the driving seat when it came to deciding which home to buy, but this is no longer the case.

As more women enter the workforce and attain well-paying jobs or set up their own businesses, their increased financial independence has empowered them to either buy their own property or co-invest in property with their partners.

Research conducted over the past decade shows that it is mainly women that are searching for homes on Private Property – sixty-six per cent of our traffic is from female browsers. A look at our social media audience tells a similar story with over two thirds of our followers being female.

We recently conducted a survey in order to better understand our users and it brought into focus some interesting insight into property buying in South Africa, and the degree to which women are involved in the process.

The survey showed that 91% of the woman respondents were actively involved in the home buying decision process.

Of the women surveyed:

  • 46% make the home buying decision themselves,
  • 45% make the home buying decision jointly with a partner and
  • 5% make the home buying decision on behalf of their partner.

Men on the other hand were less likely to make the decision to buy themselves.

Of the men surveyed:

  • 40% make the home buying decision themselves
  • 48% make the home buying decision jointly with a partner and
  • 9% make the home buying decision on behalf of their partner.

The fact that there were more female respondents that were making the decision to buy property by themselves could point to a trend identified by John Loos‚ household and property sector strategist at First National Bank (FNB) in a report released earlier this year, that there are more single women buying homes than single men.

Loos reported that, “For 2016 as a whole‚ couples buying property were by far the largest estimate as always‚ estimated at 83% of total buyers. By comparison‚ single females made up an estimated 10.3%‚ while single male buyers were 7.0%.

"Taking it longer back‚ it seems to have been the case too‚ with the average estimate for single female buyers being 10.2% of total home buyers over the period 2010 to 2016‚ while single male buyers were estimated at 7.2%‚" said Loos.

The real estate industry should take cognisance of the emergence of women as the key decision makers in the property buying process. Single woman buyers are to be taken seriously, and even when showing a property to a couple or family, getting the woman to fall in love with the property is the key to getting the sale over the line.

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