Women made up about half of all homeowners in mainland China last year, paying 4.7 million yuan (US$744,073) on average for flats in the country’s first-tier cities, according to a survey conducted by online property agency Beike Zhaofang . The number of female homeowners had risen from 45.5 per cent in 2017 to 48.6 per cent last year, according to the poll, which covered property transactions conducted in 2021 in 38 cities across China. “The number of female owners and renters has increased every year,” Beike said. There are nearly 400 million female consumers aged 20-60 in China, who control consumption expenditure of up to 10 trillion yuan annually. Their “spending behaviour on homes will offer a leading trend and bring in new opportunities” for the industry, the online property agency said. Mainland China firms have more female CEOs but lag in board representation The survey shed light on a number of trends: including a greater desire among Chinese women to own their own homes before marriage; owning property giving them a greater sense of security than marriage; willingness to share the cost of buying a home with their other halves; and also refusal to live in rented accommodation upon marriage. “Younger women have the greater desire to own their flats when they are still single ,” Beike said. The poll surveyed 2,000 female respondents between the ages of 20 and 40 with monthly incomes of 3,000 yuan to 24,000 yuan. Top 10 alpha females of Hong Kong’s financial services industry More than 79 per cent of the respondents between the ages of 20 and 25 said they wanted to own a home by themselves before getting marry, as it would give them a greater sense of security than marriage. About 60 per cent of the respondents said they would share the cost of buying a flat with their other half. Three out of every 10 respondents also said they would not accept living in rented flats after getting marry, according to Beike. Of the respondents, about 54.8 per cent had bought homes in Shenzhen , mainland China’s most expensive property market with average home prices of 53,000 yuan per square metre. Changsha, where average home prices stood at 10,500 yuan per square metre, reported the highest rate of female owners, who accounting for 55 per cent of the total. The survey found that 76 per cent of respondents with a monthly income of 15,000 yuan or more already owned a home. In first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, women on average bought flats measuring 79.8 square metres for 4.7 million yuan, the survey found. They paid an average of 1.7 million yuan for 86.9 square metre homes in new first-tier cities such as Changsha, Chongqing and Xian. In second and lower-tier cities such as Dalian, Xiaman and Huizhou, women spent an average of about 1.5 million yuan for 88.3 square metre flats. Preference differed according to age and education levels. “Prices and quality are major concerns for older female buyers, but mortgage lending is a top consideration for younger purchasers,” Beike said. About 70 per cent of the respondents, who come from single-child households, said they already owned a home and had largely received financing from their parents. And with more women being financially independent, 64 per cent of the respondents said they played a leading role when it came to buying a home. Having a subway station or public transport nearby was a top priority, followed by supermarkets, schools, hospitals and shopping malls, the survey found. The number of women renting homes had also risen, from 42.6 per cent five years ago to 44.6 per cent last year. In first-tier cities, they paid on average 5,683 yuan a month in rents, compared with 2,386 yuan per month in new first-tier cities and 1,972 yuan in second-tier cities or below.