New data reveals gender gap in property ownership

by Ksenia Stepanova08 Mar 2021

New data has been released which examines the gender gap in property ownership, and has shown a 1.8% difference in the number of properties owned solely by men compared to women in New Zealand.

The difference, which translates to over 31,000 properties, shows 17.4% of New Zealand properties owned solely by women, compared to 19.2% owned solely by men.

Jointly owned properties accounted for 56.8%, with joint ownership between men and women being most common.

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The study was also conducted in Australia, where the difference between property owned solely by men and women was slightly higher at 3.6%. Joint ownership accounted for 43.9% of the properties analysed - notably less than in New Zealand.

The report was put together by CoreLogic, and New Zealand country manager Simone Moors (pictured) said that although the 1.8% difference may seem minor, the flow-on effects with regards to wealth creation and retirement could be significant.

She also noted that Australia also had a notably higher percentage of sole female owners - 24.1% - a statistic she thought was an ‘eye opener’.

“I was actually quite surprised at the results,” Moors commented.

“I wasn’t expecting to see quite such a difference between sole ownership for women between New Zealand and Australia, so that was definitely a bit of an eye opener.”

“Us having less female sole owners could be happening for a number of reasons - perhaps it’s to do with lower incomes, or higher property prices,” she explained.

“We see a much higher percentage of properties owned by one owner in Australia, whether they’re male or female - and that suggests that to get on the property ladder in New Zealand, you really do need someone else.”

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Moors noted that affordability has been an issue for some time, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain a property purchase on just one income. She said the finance sector should look at offering investment products geared specifically towards saving, as raising a deposit is often the biggest hurdle faced by potential homeowners.

“We’re definitely looking to enhance this report further, and it would be very interesting to look at these statistics over time,” Moors said.

“The finance space could look at the types of investment products that they offer, and target those to help people save and put more into their KiwiSaver. I think that would be critical to helping people raise a deposit for a home and get on to that property ladder.”

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