Women believe they put more importance on the kitchen when hunting for a home compared to men, according to a Newspoll survey of women and property showing.

As well, women feel the bathroom and the size and number of bedrooms are a higher priority for them than men when buying a home. Women are also more likely to rate proximity to friends and family as extremely or very important. But expect men to be checking whether a home has a garage or a workshop – more men than women say these would be a priority when buying a home:

The survey looked at key factors influencing home purchase decisions as well as differences between men and women.

Respondents were asked to rate the importance of a range of features that would influence their selection of a home. Here are some of the key stats – do you recognise your own opinion in some of these?

  • 73 per cent said having a garage would be extremely or very important
  • 71 per cent said the quality of the kitchen
  • 67 per 
cent said the home having water saving systems or equipment, such as a grey water recycling 
system or a rain water tank, was considered extremely or very important by of respondents
  • 65 per cent said the quality of the bathroom and 

  • 56 per cent said a low maintenance garden or courtyard. 

  • At the bottom of the list were: the home having good potential to improve or renovate (38 per cent), proximity to friends and family (36 per cent) and the home having a security alarm system (31 per cent)

But when couples were asked what things they believe they would prioritise more than their partner, clear gender differences emerged. 

  • Far more women (28 per cent) placed a greater emphasis on the kitchen than men (three per cent)
  • Women also said they would place a greater emphasis on the bathroom – 17 per cent compared to two per cent of men)
  • 10 per cent of men said the garage or the size of the garage would be a priority, compared to four per cent of women and the same number nominated a shed or a workshop, compared to only one per cent of women
  • 43 per cent of women compared to only 28 per cent of men said proximity to friends and family is an extremely or very important factor and 46 per cent said proximity to where people in the household work was extremely or very important, compared to 36 per cent of men
  • Women seem more environmentally aware than men – 72 per cent said water saving systems would be an important feature, compared to 63 per cent of men.
  • And despite becoming an important buying power in the property market, some women say they are still discriminated against. Thirty four per cent of female home owners said they had experienced gender discrimination from tradespeople around the home and 25 per cent said they had experienced it from real estate agents. Only 11 per cent said they had been discriminated against by their mortgage lender. 

WYZA asked First National Real Estate chief executive Ray Ellis what buying patterns real estate agents see amongst women. 

“We know from an earlier survey that about 20 per cent of female homeowners who bought in the past 20 years were the sole purchaser,”

“With this particular survey, it’s clear that women pay more attention to the kitchen and bathroom and the number or size of the bedrooms. The majority of our offices say that women buyers are more thorough and patient than men and clearly they are prepared to hunt down they layout and finishes they want in a home.” Said Mr Ellis

The survey results reflect the continued emergence of women as a buying power in real estate. 
In an online survey of the offices, 77 per cent said women are more definite about what they are looking for than men, 72 per cent are happier to look at more properties to find the right one, and 47 per cent are more interested in interior design and décor. 

Mr Ellis believes the trends will begin to impact on real estate market marketing, particularly as 20 per cent of offices surveyed said women now accounted for more than 25 per cent of buyers. 

“Women are key financial decision-makers in the buying process,” he said.
“They clearly have an eye on the long term, including a home’s green credentials and the quality of the kitchen and bathroom and they’ll search the market patiently until they get what they want. Real estate agents can’t afford to ignore this buying pattern, although the survey suggests many still do.” 
Mr Ellis said the importance women placed on proximity to friends and family is not surprising.

“Women stress safety and a sense of community as important factors. As well, many need support and help from friends and family with childcare and babysitting, given the demands of work and lifestyle.”

Do you recognise some of these trends from your own property buying experinces?