Home loan applications from single women rising, but the property market gender gap persists

A cheerful woman holds a big key in front of her new house

All the single ladies (all the single ladies) are getting into the Australian property market

While single men are still more likely to put their hands up for bigger home loans at a younger age, new analysis from ME Bank reveals that single women tied men 50-50 when it came to buying property last year.

The percentage of single women applying for home loans increased by 1% in 2021; the rise also brought up the average loan size for single women to $411,752. 

By comparison, single men applied for an average home loan value of $449,273 last year – an increase of 6% – while their percentage of new applications decreased by 1%. This put single men and women pretty neck and neck overall. 

So surely this means gender is no longer a barrier to buying property, right? (Yeah okay, ladies, stop giggling, we know. But it’s Women’s History Month, so let’s look into it, anyway). 

Closing the gender gap in the property market

A biracial woman in a mustard sweater stares out her window while typing on her computer

2021 may have been a great year for single women buying home loans, but surging Australian house prices appear to have worsened the property gender gap, overall. Bummer. (We can still dance to “Independent Woman”, though).

There are a few reasons overall why it’s harder for women to break into property than men. Chiefly, the gender pay gap worsened in 2021, climbing from 13.4% in November 2020 to 13.8% in November 2021. 

Devaluing women’s work and job opportunities primarily fuels this disparity, but the end result means that it’s harder for women to save up for that 10-20% housing deposit than it is for men – especially now that house prices have well and truly outpaced wage growth.

There’s a lot of equity wrapped up in owning property, too. According to Corelogic, men own 36.4% of all investment properties, while women only own 29.1%. So with Australian housing affordability crashing, many women find themselves locked out from a huge source of wealth and security. 

Let’s not forget that historical sexism isn’t that far behind us, either. Married white women only effectively gained the right to own property Australia-wide in 1897, while progress moved at an even more glacial pace for women of colour. To put things in perspective: we’ve had batteries, light bulbs, and stainless steel longer than property rights for women.

Considering all that drag, the hustle has been impressive. But there’s still some ground to make up before women achieve full economic equality.

Tips for single home buyers in the property market

For solo Australians hoping to get a foot in the door, there are a few strategies you can consider to boost your chances of buying your first home.

  • Firstly is co-buying, which means purchasing a property with a family member or friend. 
  • You could also consider bringing on board a guarantor, who puts their own property up as collateral. This makes you a more attractive investment for lenders, since there’s someone mitigating your risk. 
  • You could also become a “rentvestor”, or an investor who owns property but lives in a rental home. This way, the rental income and potential tax breaks gives you a cushion along your road to home ownership. 

Systemic inequality doesn’t mean it’s hopeless, especially if you’re single. In fact, the National Housing Finance & Investment Corp (NHFIC) predicts single households will become a significant Australian demographic in the next ten years – led by an increase in older single women homeowners.

In the meantime, check out our guide to saving for a home loan deposit, or compare the best home loans on offer to get the ball rolling.

Woman drinks tea while gazing pensively out her kitchen window

Home loan comparisons on Mozo

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Last updated 20 June 2024 Important disclosures and comparison rate warning*
  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Offset Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.39 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Ability to open up to 10 offset accounts per loan account. Fast online application. Linked Debit Mastercard® with fee-free access at ATMs across Australia. Package a credit card with your home loan and the annual card fee will be waived (T&Cs apply). 40% deposit required.

  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Discount Variable Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.01 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    A low rate home loan for owner-occupiers packed with great features including unlimited extra repayments, free online redraw, no application or monthly admin fees. Rate will vary depending on LVR. Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice 2024 Low Cost Home Loan Award^

  • Variable Home Loan 90

    • Principal and Interest
    • LVR <90%
    Interest rate
    6.04 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.06 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,011
    Go to site

    Affordable home loan rate for buyers or refinancers. No monthly or ongoing fees. Option to add an offset for 0.10%. Access to savings with unlimited redraws available. Minimum 10% deposit required.

  • Fixed Rate Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    6.09 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.15 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,027

    Additional repayments of up to $10K per fixed year. Interest rate discounts available. Waiver of $499 application fee when combined with an Orange Advantage Home Loan.

  • The Better Home Loan Special Offer

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<80%
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a variable rate home loan with a bunch of features from Police Credit Union. Make extra repayments at any time without penalty. No monthly, annual or upfront fees. Free online redraw. Minimum 20% deposit. Qualifying criteria applies. Minimum loan amount is 200K. For new customers only. Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Credit Union of the Year 2023.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Mortgage Simplifier

    • LVR<80%
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.17 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043

    Get a competitive variable rate with ING’s Mortgage Simplifier. Free extra repayments, no monthly or annual fees. Freedom to make free extra repayments or redraws.

  • Offset Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.39 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Ability to open up to 10 offset accounts per loan account. Fast online application. Linked Debit Mastercard® with fee-free access at ATMs across Australia. Package a credit card with your home loan and the annual card fee will be waived (T&Cs apply). 40% deposit required.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Fixed
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    6.25 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.20 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,079
    Go to site

    No upfront or ongoing fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Option to earn Qantas points. Min 30% deposit required. Borrow up to $750,000.

  • Fixed Rate

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • <80% LVR
    Interest rate
    6.59 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    7.06 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,190

    Enjoy up to $3000 cashback for eligible first home buyers and $2000 cashback for refinancers on eligible home loans with the ANZ Fixed Rate Home Loan. Get the security of repayment certainty with a competitive locked in rate. No ongoing fees to pay. Offset account on 1-year fixed loans ($10/month fee applies). Interest-only payments allowed.

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* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards

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