The current housing market conditions provide opportunities for women to invest and improve their financial conditions, experts said.

According to new research by Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), only 27% of investors were women.

Advisable property buyer Kate Hill said lower rates of female property investment was another financial headwind women are facing.

“Throughout their working lives, 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,” she said.

A recent report from the Monash University and Monash Health found that at current rates, it would take women 70 years to reach full-time employment equality with mean and more than 200 years to achieve equity on income.

There was almost a $24,000 income gap between men and women in 2020, with the latter’s labour force absence alone costing $72bn in lost GDP annually, according to the report.

“The fact that women only represent a smidge over a quarter of all property investors is another factor that shows women are just not on the same financial footing as men in this country,” Ms Hill said.

Ms Hill said ample opportunities are currently available for women that would help them 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,” 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.”

PIPA chairperson Nicola McDougall said many women may have been nervous about purchasing a property either as a home or an investment in years that gone by.

“Society has changed significantly since the days when women stayed at home to look after their children while their husbands were the main breadwinners,” she said.

“However, more and 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.”

Still, there are reports that suggest that women are taking up space in the property scene.

A report by ME Bank in March last year showed that the number of single female home loan application increased amid the housing boom.

Moreover, women are also borrowing more, with the average loan size increasing 7% in 2021.

Meanwhile, CoreLogic’s 2022 Women & Property report showed that 28.3% of property purchases in 2021 were made by women — up from 27.4% in 2020.

Ms McDougall stressed the importance of women’s financial independence and how owning a property can make a substantial difference.

“I purchased 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.”

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