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Mind the gender rent gap

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Written by: Emma Lunn
13/11/2019
Women earn less than men and the burden of meeting their rental costs is greater
Mind the gender rent gap

Millennial women spend a higher proportion of their salary on rent than men.

The gender pay gap has created a knock-on “gender rent gap” according to research by SpareRoom conducted with 6,000 millennial flatsharers.

It found one in four (27 per cent) females are spending more than half of their salary on rent, compared to just 17 per cent of males.

Millions of people flatshare and, when it comes to the cost of rent, flatmates typically split the costs equally, regardless of gender. However, SpareRoom says that women earning less than men means they are more rent burdened, which has a severe knock on effect on the rest of their lives.

More than a third (36 per cent) millennial women don’t consider their rent to be affordable, compared to 30 per cent of men. What’s more, more than half (56 per cent) of men said they’d be able to afford to rent on their own if they chose to, compared to just 39 per cent of women.

The figures show the barriers to female homeownership are the same. Almost half (47 per cent) of millennial women admit they’d only be able to afford a deposit if they teamed up with a partner, compared to just a third (37 per cent) of men.

Among those who don’t expect to buy, 60 per cent of millennial women said it’s because they don’t earn enough to get a mortgage, compared to 51 per cent of men.

Additional findings from the research reveal how one in four millennial females (26 per cent) have an annual pre-tax income of over £30,000, compared to 34 per cent of male flatsharers.

Miriam Tierney, SpareRoom spokesperson, said: “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.”

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