Gender pay gap means women must work for longer to save for their first house

Female first-time buyers have to work for months longer than men in order to save for a deposit, according to official figures.

Fledge magazine has compared information on the size of the average mortgage deposits, released by Halifax UK bank, with government statistics on the average incomes of men and women in their 20s and 30s.

In 2014, the average age of a first time buyer was 30, and average deposit paid by someone entering the housing market for the first time was £29,218.

Because of what’s known as the gender pay gap, on average, a man in his 30s earns that sum in 11.5 months before tax, compared to 12.5 months for a woman. Of course, once tax and living costs are taken into account, the additional length of time a woman has to work would become significantly longer.

A chart showing average female and male pay over the last five years compared to the size of the average deposit paid by a first time buyer,

Copyright Henry Bird

Although women’s salaries have slowly been converging on men’s over the last five years, there is still a significant gender pay gap, posing an additional barrier to women who would like to get onto the property ladder.

According to the Fawcett Society, a charity that promotes gender equality and women’s rights, there are many reasons behind the gender pay gap, including more women occupying roles in low paid sectors such as health and social care, while men occupying more roles in high paying sectors such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The charity has also identified a “motherhood penalty” – caused by the fact that women are more likely to work part time due to childcare responsibilities – as well as instances of outright gender discrimination.

A spokesperson for the society commented: “There is still so much to do for women to reach real equality with men on pay and issues arising from pay. The fact that women in their 30s, in similar jobs, still earn £1,300 less than the average deposit for a first time buyer says it all really.”

Want to learn more? Get the data on average deposits and the gender pay gap. 

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