Equal Pay Day 2019: women spend higher proportion of salary on rent than men putting homeownership even further out of reach

The gender pay gap’s far-reaching impact has been revealed in a new study into the “gender rent gap” effect.

Young female renters pay a far higher proportion of their salaries on rent compared to their male counterparts, according to SpareRoom, who interviewed 6,000 flatsharers under the age of 35 for the research.

More than a quarter of the women surveyed (27%) spend more than half of their salary on rent, whereas just 17 per cent of men do.

Similarly more than half of men said they would be able to afford their rent on their own, compared to 39 per cent of women.

The most recent official figures on the gender pay gap show that women in the UK are paid 17.3 per cent less than men, on average while tomorrow, November 14, marks Equal Pay Day in the UK – the point when the average man has earned as much as the average women will over the course of the entire year.

Despite this, SpareRoom found that flatsharers typically split the cost of rent equally, regardless of gender. 

Spending more on rent makes it harder to save for a deposit, while lower average incomes mean fewer women are able to get a large enough mortgage to buy.

A separate study earlier this year found that women have to save for more than two years longer than men to afford a deposit for a home in London on their own as their lower incomes mean they have less spare cash each month.

And data from specialist bank Aldermore found that 64 per cent of women found the entire house buying process difficult compared with only 46 per cent of men, making women less likely to even think about applying for a mortgage than men.

“This research shows just how far the consequences of the gender pay gap extend. It’s not just about how much you earn, it’s about how that affects the fundamental things in life.

“In simple terms, it’s relatively more expensive to rent in the UK if you’re female. That means the one thing at the heart of all our lives, having a secure, affordable home, is harder for some people, simply because of their gender,” said Miriam Tierney of SpareRoom.

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