Women are more likely than men to own a home
Australian women including Millennials are more likely to own their home than men despite the pay gap and expensive housing market.
Overall, 60 per cent of Australian women own their home either with a mortgage or debt-free, compared with 56 per cent of men, according to national figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Among the under-35s, 27 per cent of women and 21 per cent of men own their home, mostly with a mortgage.
EY chief economist Jo Masters said the figures were surprising given women earn less than men. The trend for younger women to be home owners was evidence the figures weren’t skewed by divorce or women outliving their partners.
“It might be about women being somewhat more risk averse and more conservative in their spending,” Ms Masters said. “Women over time have proven to be good budgeters.”
However, Ms Masters said men were more likely to invest in shares and noted the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey found women had lower financial literacy than men.
Home ownership is higher for women than men in all age groups up to age 65 and women also tend to pay off their mortgages earlier, the ABS figures suggest.
When a couple owns their property jointly, both members count as home owners. However, the figures also show that single women are more likely to own their home than single men – unless they are mothers. Nearly half of single fathers own a home, compared with 40 per cent of single mothers.
Men in the 65-75 age group are slightly more likely to own their home than women the same age, and the gap widens for Australians over the age of 75, despite women’s longer life expectancy. Home ownership rates for older women are still high, with nearly four out of five owning their home, and the vast majority owning it debt-free.
Nationally, home ownership is the norm for Australians over the age of 35, while most younger people are in the private rental market. However, the proportion of young people who own a home fell from 2008 to 2016, the latest ABS figures show.
Ms Masters said home ownership rates would be lower still for young people in Sydney because the higher prices made it hard to save a deposit.
Joanne Auberson, 34, is pooling resources with her mother Lyn, 66, because they both worked in Sydney but couldn’t afford to buy separately.
Her mother was living in the family home but needed to sell as part of the financial settlement with her ex-husband. Ms Auberson owned a small villa on the Central Coast and was commuting.
The two women are moving into their new home this week after settlement on Friday. They bought a four-bedroom house with separate living quarters in Berowra Heights and each own their share separately.
Ms Auberson said home ownership was important to her and multi-generational living made sense.
“It’s going to become more common, it’s almost impossible as a single person to afford anything in the Sydney market,” she said.
“I have two cats so renting would be extremely difficult, and I don't want to be at the mercy of a landlord who might want to sell or rents going up or down.”
Ms Auberson originally bought the Central Coast property, which she is now selling, at age 30. She lived with her mother while saving for a deposit and said that was common among her friends.
Source: Read Full Article