Research by the new home specialists, Stone Real Estate, has found that the gender affordability gap for aspiring homeowners continues to widen, with the male affordability ratio currently at 12.2 across the UK, compared to 18.1 for female homebuyers.
Stone Real Estate looked at the current level of affordability for male and female home buyers based on an affordability ratio using house price deposit costs and salary and the gap between the two. Salary data for the area in which people live rather than work was used to compare like for like when it comes to house prices and purchasing power.
Affordability ratio = 10% deposit of the average house price divided by female/male salary
*The higher the score, the less affordable.
Affordability gap = The difference between the male and female affordability ratio
The current gap
With the housing affordability ratio at 12.2 for male homebuyers and 18.1 for females, the current gap between each gender across the UK sits at 5.8, having increased from 5.5 over the last five years.
England is home to the lowest affordability ratio for both males (12.8) and females (19.1) of all UK nations and the country is also home to the largest gender affordability gap at present (6.3).
The region with the lowest affordability ratio score is the North East and it’s also home to the lowest affordability gap of all regions at 3.5, with just Northern Ireland seeing a lower gap outside of England.
London is predictably home to the highest affordability ratio, but the capital isn’t home to the largest gender affordability gap. The South East (8.5), the East of England (8.0) and the South West (7.5) all rank above London when it comes to the biggest gaps between male and female homebuyer affordability.
In the last five years, the East Midlands, South West and East of England have all seen the largest increase in the gender housing affordability gap, widening by 0.9 from 2014 until now.
The most affordable market for both male and female homebuyers when comparing local house prices to the salary earned by those living there is Hyndburn, with an affordability ratio of 4.6 and 6.5 for men and women respectively.
The least affordable is Harlow for male homebuyers with a ratio of 25.2, while for women it’s Kensington and Chelsea with an affordability ratio of 43.2.
Founder and CEO of Stone Real Estate, Michael Stone said, “Getting on the ladder is a tough ask in today’s market but it’s all the tougher if you happen to be female, with the issue of affordability exacerbated by the fact that the average salary is a fair bit lower than your male counterpart.
“Looking historically this gap has not only been maintained but has widened over the years and while there are a few indications that this could be starting to change, it will take a drastic turnaround to bridge the affordability gap both where salary and property purchasing power are concerned.”