How the Gender Pay Gap Affects Property Ownership

By Scott McDonnell
In Home Loans

It’s an unfortunate and all-too-true reality that the gender pay gap still exists. The gender pay gap is not a direct comparison of like roles. Paying men and women different salaries for the same work has been illegal in Australia for over 50 years. The gender pay gap highlights the difference between the average or median pay of women and men across organisations, industries and the workforce in general. 1

The WGEA Employer Gender Pay Gap Snapshot

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) published the median gender pay gaps for private sector employers with 100 or more employees on February 27, 2024. This data revealed that every industry in Australia has a median gender pay gap that favours men.2

“Nationally, the WGEA median total remuneration gender pay gap is 19%. This means, that over the course of a year, the median of what a woman is paid is $18,461 less than the median of what a man is paid.”3

Gender Cost-Of-Living Concern Gap

An M&C Saatchi study titled ‘Prioritisation, planning and promos’ found that more than a third (36%) of women feel anxious about the current cost-of-living crisis, in comparison to the 20% of men who expressed the same concern4. The national gender pay gap and women carrying the mental load for many purchase decisions were cited as the key reasons for the differences in response. So, it seems Australian women are feeling the financial squeeze more than their male counterparts. The question is, is this impacting their ability to enter the property market?

Gender Property Ownership Gap

According to CoreLogic’s 2024 Women & Property Report, the rate of residential real estate ownership among adult females is slightly higher than males5. The survey found 68.2% of females owned at least one residential property as either an investment or their own home, compared to 67.4% of males.6

However, despite women maintaining a higher rate of dwelling ownership overall in the CoreLogic survey, a large discrepancy was found in home ownership among Australian men and women aged 18-29. According to the findings, 51.6% of men in this age bracket own at least one residential property, compared to just 27.3% of women.7 The survey also indicated that Gen Z women overall had lower levels of income ($67,823 versus $83,468 per year before tax), and greater levels of part-time and casual employment (32.9% versus 12.9%).8 Based on these results it appears that entering the property market is proving more challenging for Gen Z women, potentially preventing them from accessing the same levels of capital growth as Gen Z men.

What About Investment Properties?

Another notable gap between males and females owning residential property was found in the investment space. 14.1% of men indicated that they own at least one residential investment property, compared to 12.5% of women.9 Interestingly, slightly more women than men indicated that they owned multiple investment properties, however more men than women own investments in other asset classes (e.g. 42% of males had invested in shares as opposed to 30.1% of women).10

Shared Property Ownership Gap

CoreLogic’s 2024 Women & Property Report also found that women were more likely to own a property with someone else. 53.3% of female dwelling owners reported that they shared ownership of a property, compared to 51.9% of men.11

How Can Companies Close the Gender Pay Gap?

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), workplace policies and practices that address inequalities in pay and leadership are key to progressing workplace gender equality outcomes.12

Below are some of the ways the WGEA believes businesses can reduce the gender pay gap13:

  • Conduct a pay gap analysis to understand what is driving any gender pay gaps, so that an action plan can be put in place to address any issues.
  • Introduce a robust gender neutral paid parental leave policy.
  • Offer inclusive flexible working arrangements and rethink assumptions and norms around management roles.

Struggling To Enter The Property Market?

If you are thinking about purchasing a home, but affordability or a lack of confidence or financial literacy is holding you back, reach out to your local MoneyQuest team. Regardless of your circumstances or where you’re at on your home ownership journey, our finance specialists can assess your specific situation, help you to prepare for buying property and when the time is right, assist you with choosing the right loan for your needs.

  1. Publishing employer gender pay gaps FAQ
  2. Page 4, Employer Gender Pay Gaps Snapshot, 27 February 2024
  3. Page 3, Employer Gender Pay Gaps Snapshot, 27 February 2024
  4. Women more anxious about cost-of-living than men, report finds
  5. Page 1, CoreLogic’s Women & Property Gender Equity in Property Ownership report, Australia 2024
  6. Page 1, CoreLogic’s Women & Property Gender Equity in Property Ownership report, Australia 2024
  7. Page 7, CoreLogic’s Women & Property Gender Equity in Property Ownership report, Australia 2024
  8. Page 16, CoreLogic’s Women & Property Gender Equity in Property Ownership report, Australia 2024
  9. Page 4, CoreLogic’s Women & Property Gender Equity in Property Ownership report, Australia 2024
  10. Page 4, CoreLogic’s Women & Property Gender Equity in Property Ownership report, Australia 2024
  11. Page 1, CoreLogic’s Women & Property Gender Equity in Property Ownership report, Australia 2024
  12. Page 1, ‘How do we reduce the gender pay gap at all ages?’ – WGEA
  13. Page 1 & 2, ‘How do we reduce the gender pay gap at all ages?’ – WGEA

 

 

Disclaimer:

This article is written to provide a summary and general overview of the subject matter covered for your information only. Every effort has been made to ensure the information in the article is current, accurate and reliable. This article has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, personal circumstances, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. You should seek your own independent legal, financial and taxation advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in the articles and review any relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), Terms and Conditions (T&C) or Financial Services Guide (FSG).

Please consult your financial advisor, solicitor or accountant before acting on information contained in this publication.

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