Female first time buyers have bigger home ownership dreams - but confidence to buy alone remains low

POSTED: 1st November 2019
IN: Newsroom
  • Female prospective first time buyers are more likely to dream of owning their own home – but are also more likely to see it as unachievable
  • Women are less likely to consider applying for a mortgage on their own (26% vs. 39% of men)
  • Women feel harder hit by the cost of renting (76% vs. 67% of men)
  • Nearly two-thirds of women (64%) think the house buying process is difficult compared to fewer than half (46%) of men

Women in the UK are more likely to have dreamt about homeownership than men, according to the latest First Time Buyer Index from Aldermore, the specialist bank. The research found that nearly nine out of ten women (87%) hoping to buy have dreamt about becoming a homeowner, compared to 71% of men. However, with the current challenging conditions, women are also more likely to feel these goals are unachievable (68% vs 57% of men).1

Women are more likely to perceive renting as too expensive (76% vs 67% of men), a likely indication of the increased financial challenges women face. The impact of this is reflected in the Index which shows that women are more likely to see saving for a deposit as the biggest obstacle to buying a home (33% vs. 20% of men). The gender pay gap may be playing a part in purchasing difficulties. It currently stands at 8.6% among full-time employees in 2018, and research from Coreco shows this has led to the average earnings of a female first applicant to be 65% what the average male’s would be.3

Women are also less likely to foresee applying for their first mortgage alone (26% vs. 39% of men). The UK Women’s Budget Group estimates that at present women are the ‘household reference person’ in only 31% of cases where someone is buying with a mortgage, according to the most recently available Census data2.

Women looking to raise a deposit appear to value their independence with 38% (compared to 28% of males) saying they would not consider living with family to help save for a deposit. Alongside this, the Bank of Mum and Dad is of less assistance with 23% of women saying they will raise a deposit with family help compared to 28% of men, and 12% with help of inheritance compared to 16% of men.

Sue Hayes, Managing Director, Retail Finance, Aldermore, says: “It is concerning to see the barriers to home ownership having a greater impact on women. We need to address financial inequality in our society to help tackle gender disparities so that becoming a home owner is achievable for all.

“The house buying journey is a stressful one and can feel very overwhelming for new homeowners. The industry needs to work together to provide a straightforward process and remove hurdles for all first time buyers. At Aldermore, we offer a variety of product choices and personal service to give first time buyers the best possible options in a challenging market.” 


1The figures are sourced from a nationally representative survey conducted by Opinium Research with a sample of 1,004 prospective house buyers.
2 Women’s Budget Group, 2017 (derived from Author’s calculation from Table CT0621, Census 2011)
3 Coreco research can be found here: www.coreco.co.uk/about/press-coverage/ 

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