The differences between women and men

Men are more optimistic about house price prospects, suggests a new report, while women are more pessimistic about becoming homeowners

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The Independent Online

According to a survey by the Halifax, women are more likely to be homeowners and less likely to be renting.

The results follow the latest English Housing Survey from the Department for Communities and Local Government which shows that the number of owner-occupied households has dropped from its peak of 14.79 million in 2005 to 14.45 million in 2010/11. Almost a third of first-time-buyers are now aged over 35.

The Halifax report revealed that single women (62%) are more likely than single men (53%) to be homeowners, as well as more likely to own their homes outright (47% against 30%). In contrast, single men are more likely to buy with a mortgage (23% against 15%).

When it comes to renting, single males (21%) are much more likely than single females (12%) to be renting privately.

Men also appear to be more confident in prospects for the housing market - 42% predict that house prices will increase over the next year, while the figure for women is 36%. Similarly, a higher proportion of men (58%) than women (52%) think that it is good time to buy a property.

The headline House Price Outlook balance (the difference between the proportion of people that expect house prices to rise rather than fall) for men stands at +22 points (42% minus 20%) compared with +15% for women (36% minus 21%),

Men and women are very similar in identifying concerns over job security as the main headwind facing potential homebuyers, at 61% and 60% respectively. Women are more pessimistic than men about their prospects of owning their own home. The figures show that 43% of women aged 20-45 year would like to buy a home, but do not think they will ever be able to, compared to just over a third of men of the same age.

The English Housing Survey also revealed that 1.1 million families now rent their home from a private landlord, nearly double the amount five years ago.

Responding to  the English Housing Survey, Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s no surprise that renters these days are an older and more affluent group, with average incomes rising faster than homeowners.

“But despite this, family budgets are quickly eaten up by rising rents. Many rents are now more expensive than mortgage repayments, with today’s figures showing that, on average, renters pay out almost £75 a month more than homeowners. According to these statistics, renters typically pay out over twice as much of their income in rent than homeowners spend on a mortgage."