Despite earning on average 13% less than men, single women are becoming a significant force in the housing market.

Analysis by mortgage broker Loan Market has found the proportion of single female first-home buyers has risen from 15.7% to 22% in the past year – one of the fastest-growing home buyer demographics.

Buyer’s agent Cate Bakos says single female FHBs now account for one in five of her clients. “They are growing in numbers and are becoming a significant force,” she says. “Government incentives and low interest rates have helped them navigate a purchase they ordinarily couldn’t have.”

Single women’s specific reasons for buying a home are as varied as the housing market, but a big trigger is rapidly rising prices.

“I looked at the rate at which home prices are rising and realised I would be left behind if I tried to save a 20% deposit,” says Melbourne first  time buyer Michaela Weston. “So I weighed up my options and realised that I could get into the market now, using a5% deposit.”