Women make inroads in affordable housing market

The number of women home owners has increased to just under 35 percent of the FNB affordable housing market, and with general overall good management of their home loan accounts, are well positioned to take financial advantage of home ownership.

“Over the last five years we have noted a steady increase from 33 percent to 35 percent of women bond holders in our housing finance book,” says Dr Simphiwe Madikizela, head of projects at FNB Housing Finance. “Women in general appear to be the glue that binds communities together and this is confirmed by the risk assessment of the group.”

In FNB Housing Finance, FNB’s affordable housing division, 96 percent of all purchases are first time buyers. Madikizela says there has been a steady inflow of first time women buyers to the market, and most of FNB Housing Finance women customers are between 30 and 40.

According to the housing finance data, single women bond holders have the lowest default rate, and, notably, where a woman is the primary applicant in a joint bond this default rate is also lower than when the primary applicant is a man.

“According to our data, when women are the main bond holders, they are more diligent about looking after their home loans accounts,” says Madikizela.

More women are making use of salary deductions around 7 percent above the book average.

FNB Housing Finance encourages the use of payroll deduction to service home loans, as it has direct benefits to the consumer including a better risk profile with the bank, less chance of defaulting as well as additional advantages such as possible savings on interest rate and a better credit rating with the bureaus.

Home ownership can be one of the best ways of creating wealth as it encourages forced savings into an asset that, in general, increases in value over time, says Madikizela.

“Good home loan management means that every month home owners are putting equity into their bonds,” says Madikizela. “The fact that women appear to be more diligent than men about managing their bonds shows that they are well positioned to take financial advantage of home ownership.”

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