Women in the property market

Women are taking the property market by force, says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate. According to Lightstone, single women have dominated the market from 2017 right through to 2019 and including 2020. This makes them the largest single group of property buyers in South Africa – even bigger than married couples or single men.

According to a report by FNB, women make up an estimated 10.3% of buyers‚ while single male buyers count for 7.0%. Greeff says, “We have seen a steady increase of women in the property market over the past ten years. This is encouraging as the property market is an excellent place to invest one’s money. I would encourage all women to consider property as an investment and as a wonderful way to diversify your investments”.

Women buyers take home maintenance very seriously and the need to avoid any unnecessary complications in that regard. As a result of wanting low maintenance homes, most women buyers tend to buy new homes or homes in very good condition. As with most other demographics, they also pay special regard to homes that are eco-friendly and feature smart designs.  

Useful tips for women looking to clinch their first property include:

  1. Security

Having a property that is secure is paramount. There are various ways to ensure you live in a home that is safe and knowing that you are secure will be especially important to your general wellbeing. Speak to your agent about service providers within the security industry as they (agents) generally have a better understanding and knowledge of the areas they work in and also have a trusted network of contacts who could be of assistance to you.

Female buyers, especially single or single mothers, place security at the very top of their priorities when purchasing a property. It is for this reason that security estates or sectional title units are the most popular choice as they tend to have sufficient security.

  1. Location

Spend some time researching areas to buy in, the type of property you want and how big it should be. Have a trusted agent by your side and do a comparative analysis of your desired areas and shop around for what fits you and your needs best. 

For example, if you have children, you might have to pick an area that is close to schools and perhaps a bit further from work or the shops. Or maybe you would prefer to live close to your support network of family and friends.

  1. Be picky

Purchasing your own home is something to be proud of. Take your time when choosing your property as this is probably one of the largest investments you will ever have to make. Making a decision out of haste could be to your detriment. Statistics are showing that we are currently in a buyers’ market which puts less pressure on the prospective buyer while giving them more options to choose from.

  1. Ask as many questions as you need to

Purchasing a property is a big decision and one that can’t and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You should never be embarrassed to ask as many questions as you like about the buying process, the market within a specific area, financing, or unfamiliar terms of the offer to purchase or sale agreement. It is especially important as a buyer to feel 100% comfortable with the process and a top-quality agent will be happy to assist you as much as you need.

Just a few need-to-knows

  • Aim for a home loan repayment that’s no more than 25% of income.
  • Shop around for the best home loan rates. Make use of a bond originator, like BetterBond so you can get the best bond available.
  • Think hard about your future housing needs. It’s a tougher challenge for women.
  • Find an agent and a neighborhood you can trust.
  • Take a home-ownership course.
  • Save up for a deposit and have it readily available for when you want to put in an offer.