How Much Property Do Women Own In Sydney’s Inner City And Inner West?

April 22nd, 2022 - by Brad Gillespie

In March 2021, property data and analytics firm CoreLogic released its inaugural Women and Property report for Australia and New Zealand.

One year on, they released its follow up, and their research suggests that women still have less share of property ownership across Australia than men.

Women and property ownership in Australia – the stats

CoreLogic reports that, as of January 2022, 26.6% of Australian property was owned by women, compared to 29.9% with male ownership. Meanwhile, joint male and female ownership accounted for 43.5% of Australian property.

The proportion of real estate owned by women has risen ever so slightly since 2021 when it was 26.2%. The number of property purchases made by women is on the increase, too, with 28.3% of property acquisitions made in 2021 carried out by women. This is up on 27.4% in 2020 and 27.3% in 2019. Meanwhile, both exclusively male and joint male and female purchases have recorded slight declines over the same period.

Interestingly, the data suggest that around 70% of the difference between male and female property ownership can be traced back to the ownership of investment properties. According to the report, women own 29.1% of Australian investment properties, while men own 36.4%.

The type of dwelling owned by men and women varies too. Men have a higher rate of ownership of detached houses, owning 28.5% of them, while women own 24%. The flip side is that women own more units (35.2%) than men (34.7%). Given that women typically have lower rates of pay than men, thanks to the gender pay gap and the overrepresentation of women in part-time work, the relative affordability of units may be one of the reasons they attract more female buyers.

How do the rates of female homeownership in Sydney’s Inner West and Inner City compare?

NSW has the highest rate of female homeownership of all the Australian states and territories included in the study, with Greater Sydney the best performing capital city. Of the Sydney submarkets, the Eastern Suburbs (37.1%), North Sydney and Hornsby (37%) and our own City and Inner South (36.2%) were the highest-ranking for female homeownership. The Inner West wasn’t far behind, ranking fifth in Greater Sydney with 33.6% female homeownership.

Region Portion of property owned exclusively by females Portion of property with a sole female owner Portion of property owned exclusively by males Portion of property with a sole male owner Portion of property owned jointly by males and females
Australia 26.6% 24.4% 29.9% 27.5% 43.5%
NSW 30.6% 28.8% 33.6% 31.2% 35.8%
Greater Sydney 31.9% 30% 33.7% 31.3% 34.4%
City and Inner South 36.2% 34.3% 40.4% 37.9% 23.5%
Inner West 33.6% 31.2% 33.6% 31.1% 32.8%

According to CoreLogic, major metropolitan areas like Greater Sydney, particularly the inner city and inner west, have more varied demographics and lifestyles, including younger, single people migrating to the city from elsewhere in Australia or overseas.

The report also refers to the fact that at higher income levels, women may be more likely to buy property than men. Given that it can be inferred that higher incomes tend to be associated with areas with high dwelling values, like the inner city and inner west, it helps to explain the high rates of female ownership here.

Many areas with high levels of female homeownership also tend to have more unit stock, which attracts female buyers. And in many cases, higher-value areas and those with more unit stock are one and the same: inner urban or beachside locations. The report suggests that some women opt for a unit in a better location rather than a house somewhere less convenient, adding to the high numbers of female owners in areas like the inner city and inner west.

It’s worth noting that exclusive male or female ownership typically implies sole ownership. CoreLogic reports that 92% of properties owned exclusively by men or women have only one owner.

Property ownership’s role in building future wealth and security

As we all know, property prices in Australia have risen considerably over the last year. But because they have less share of property ownership than men, women stand to be excessively disadvantaged by these recent real estate wealth gains.

RBA data to September 2021 shows that housing comprises 55.6% of household wealth. The significance of owning property becomes even more pronounced in retirement when real estate ownership has been shown to reduce the probability of poverty. Only 6% of outright homeowners over 65 experience poverty in Australia, compared to 42% of renters. Because outright homeownership means significantly reduced housing costs at a time when people have lower earnings, buying property well in advance of retirement may help build wealth and security for the future.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling in Sydney’s inner-city or inner west, we can help. Get in touch with our expert local team today.