Buy-to-let  

Gender gap in property market continues to narrow

Gender gap in property market continues to narrow
 

Women now make up 48 per cent of the UK’s 2.7mn buy-to-let investors, up from 46 per cent in 2016, according to data from HM Revenue and Customs.

The number of women who are residential property landlords has now reached 1.3mn, a 14 per cent increase from the 1.1mn in 2016.

According to London-based estate agency Ludlowthompson, this increase reflects property’s increasing popularity among women compared to other asset classes.

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For example, women account for only 42 per cent of stocks and shares Isa holders and just 38 per cent of cryptocurrency investors in the UK. 

Ludlowthompson pointed out that a key advantage of residential property is that price volatility has been lower than it has in listed stock market shares.

It noted that while the FTSE 250 is down 17 per cent in the past year, the UK house price index has increased by 14.3 per cent on average.

Ludlowthompson chair, Stephen Ludlow said the uptick in women landlords can be partially attributed to the fact that women tend to favour more stable, low risk investments.

“Accessibility and stability set the residential property market apart from other assets, and we’re seeing increasing numbers of women take full advantage of that,” Ludlow said.

He added: “Over time, property has been proven a worthwhile investment. And in cities like London where housing competition among renters is high, landlords are likely to see rents increase in line with wage inflation, whilst they benefit from capital growth.”

According to HMRC figures, income earned by women buy-to-let investors has now hit £16.6bn, accounting for 45 per cent of total income from buy-to-let. This marks a 20 per cent increase from £13.7bn in 2016.

In Ludlowthompson’s view, it is likely that the number of women landlords will continue to grow in the coming years. 

As part of the Autumn Statement last year, it was announced that the capital gains threshold will be reduced.

As a result, Ludlowthompson predicts that more women will register an income from buy-to-let as spouses and those in civil partnerships take steps to maximise use of their individual exemptions to retain the most profit.

jane.matthews@ft.com