“According to the worldwide index of public sector leaders, South Africa actually is ranked fourth amongst the G20 countries in terms of having women in parliament and having women leaders in business. Women are doing quite well. We’re also finding in terms of the estate agent survey that women are waiting and working on their careers first before starting families, and so they have money to purchase property,” Trish Luthuli from Pam Golding properties told CNBC Africa.
“As agents are engaging with their buyers and their sellers, we’re finding that there are more women coming through that are buying properties for themselves and some of them are buying them as first time buyers, some of them are purchasing as investment purchases but we certainly are seeing lots more women buying property on their own.”
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Luthuli added that in terms of the First National Bank barometer, the first quarter of this year saw 10 per cent of single women buying property on their own in South Africa compared to nine per cent of single men, and the balance being couples.
“We are seeing that couples are coming through and the women buying properties in their name. In the olden days couples would be looking for property, or the men would go out looking for property and they would make the decision. Now we’re getting a lot of men saying ‘let me bring my wife through to come and give an opinion.’ Women have an opinion and they’re making their wishes known,” Luthuli explained.
Much of the residential property being bought is however within Johannesburg’s metropolitan areas. According to FNB, 35 per cent of property purchasers this year were first time buyers, compared to 28 per cent for the same period last year.
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“The real estate industry as a whole has more female agents than men, so maybe it’s not so difficult for [real estate agencies] to sell to women because we understand women better. A lot of the women that we’re seeing have done a lot of research before coming through,” said Luthuli.
“They know what areas they want to get into, what kind of properties, and they’ve done a lot of comparisons. There are more in touch with what they want and where they want it, so it’s easier for us to deal with people who know exactly what they want.”