Dubai: Female investors spent Dh13.3 billion on property in Dubai last year, representing 23 per cent of the emirate’s real estate market.

According to data from the Dubai Land Department (DLD), 5,434 women invested in property. This was only a slight increase from last year when 4,704 female investors poured Dh10.5 billion into the real estate market, making up 22 per cent of total investments, the DLD said in an email to Gulf News in response to questions on investments in the property market.

Personal finance advisers and property analysts say they have seen an increase in demand by female investors for real estate recently.

“We are witnessing a positive shift: homebuyers today are single women and the number is growing. Investment in the property is no longer an exclusive male province,” said Sandi Saksena, sales manager with Nexus Insurance brokers.

“Women investors form a small percentage of the total pie until now but it is a growing figure and one to reckon with. Nowadays, a woman, married or unmarried, is taking a keen interest in buying property more than ever before.”

Some of this interest is coming from women who made their money from business, according Helen Tatham, Director of Residential at Knight Frank. “Property is a tangible investment that women prefer over stocks and shares. I feel that they can relate to property more easily,” she said.

Financial independence

Greater access to market information, the desire to be financially independent and banking services directed towards women are all contributing to women’s interest in the property market, analysts said.

“In the GCC we have two kinds of female investors. One is the Emirati lady who has been and will continue to invest in real estate in their home country. The other is the expatriate woman, married or single, who has an independent income and would rather live in her own home than rent. It is a great feeling to live in your own place and know that you can sell it when the time is right,” said Saksena.

Analysts disagreed on whether real estate will continue to be a male-dominated realm.

“I think that men will always be the dominant purchasers of property as they are typically the higher income earners but I’m sure that government figures don’t fully reflect who the real decision makers may be,” Tatham said.