Women now account for 47% of the total 2.5 million buy-to-let investors in the UK, up from 46% in the previous year, as the gender gap in the investment class narrows, according to ludlowthompson.
The news comes ahead of the highly-anticipated International Women’s Day – an annual global event that takes place this Sunday (March 8), celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
According to the London estate agent, the actual number of residential property landlords that are women increased 5% to 1.2 million for the 2016/17 tax year (the latest data available), up from 1.1 million the previous year.
ludlowthompson says the narrowing gender gap between buy-to-let investors reflects how property has become an increasingly popular investment amongst women. Property is often perceived to be a lower risk option, offering fewer volatile returns than other asset classes, such as equities.
Academic studies suggest that generally, women have a ‘less aggressive’ appetite for risk than men. The relatively transparent business model, regular pay-outs and low price volatility associated with buy-to-let property as opposed to shares, has helped make the asset class increasingly popular amongst women.
The near-equal gender split that exists amongst buy-to-let investors stands in contrast to the split across other asset classes. The latest data shows:
Women account for only 43% of stocks and shares ISAs, owning 957,000 shares ISAs compared to 1.2 million men
Women represent just 8.5% of cryptocurrency investments
What’s more, ludlowthompson says that women now receive 43% of all income from buy-to-let investments (£14.8 billion of a total of £34.2 billion in income). At the same time, women only receive 37% of total £125.8 billion pension income earned by retirees.
Some 2,533,000 landlords, or 94% of the UK’s 2,698,250 landlords, are identifiable by gender.
Stephen Ludlow, chairman at ludlowthompson, comments: “The buy-to-let sector has a reputation of providing stable, long-term returns. Whilst some investors have become distracted by more speculative investments, buy-to-let continues to build increasing interest amongst investors who value income and long-term growth.”
“It may not be long before we see a 50/50 gender split amongst buy-to-let investors which is significant given the much wider gaps in other asset classes, such as equities.”
He says that as buy-to-let property is a sensible way to diversify an investment portfolio and does not require in-depth knowledge of accounting rules, it is popular across investors of all different risk appetites.
“There have been some naysayers suggesting that the property market is risky,” he adds. “However, even throughout years of Brexit uncertainty, house price growth has been relatively stable – unlike other areas of financial markets where price swings have been enormous.”
The rise in female buy-to-let investors over a five-year period can be seen below:
Over the past few months, Property Investor Today has shone a light on women that are breaking down barriers in the property investment world – from a rising star in property investment and a property manager who is leading the short-let market boom, to the new face in PropTech innovation and everything in between.
These women come from all walks of life and continue to excel in their respective roles, showcasing that property investment can indeed be a women’s game, too. To see for yourself, check out our Women in Property Investment series, which is due to return next month.