Female entrepreneurs thriving and average self-employed house price £172, 740

The report also covers the fact that the number of women in entrepreneurial roles in the UK is growing.

House Prices

The UK average price for homes purchased by the self-employed is currently £172,740 according to UCB Home Loans figures for the first quarter of 2003*. This compares with an average UK house price which is around three-quarters of this, standing at £119,938 over the same period, according to Nationwide’s quarterly house price index.

“There are two principal reasons why self-employed people pay more than average for their homes,” says UCB Home Loans managing director, Charles Reed. “Firstly, there are fewer first-time buyers among the self-employed, as they are often people who are a little further on in their careers and have therefore already owned a property before. Also, it is true that the number of self-employed people is higher in parts of the country where house prices are more expensive, such as London, which has the highest percentage of self-employed people in all major towns and cities in the UK.”

Evidence shows that female entrepreneurs thrive

The number of self-employed women has more than doubled over the past 20 years. In 1979 only 3.1% of economically active women were self-employed, according to the Women and Equality Unit at the Department of Trade and Industry. This had more than doubled to 6.8% by 1997.

Women also now make up more than half of all undergraduates. During the second half of the 1990s, the number of women undergraduates increased by 29%, compared to a 6% increase for men.

Around 30% of managers in England, 29% in Scotland and 33% in Wales are women. There are wide variations between different areas of business, with women accounting for 73% of managers in health and social services, but only 6% in production.

“Women now run over a quarter of self-employed businesses in the UK,” says Charles Reed, “and as a mortgage lender we are attracting a growing number of women in the self-employed sector, either working on contracts or as partners or directors of small businesses.”

This trend is supported by research carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses last year, which showed that growth in female business ownership is a relatively recent phenomenon. Its results showed that the proportion of businesses owned by women was highest among new firms which had been established within the last three years.

The UCB Home Loans report also reveals that increasing numbers of people are turning towards specialist mortgages designed for the self-employed and others on variable incomes.

“Changing working patterns, coupled with a self-employed sector that now accounts for 3.2 million people, are encouraging increasing numbers of people to use the services of specialist self-certification mortgage lenders,” says Charles Reed, managing director of UCB Home Loans. “When you add the growing band of workers with working styles which differ slightly from the norm, such as part-timers, contract workers and small business owners, this broader grouping of people who fall into the typical self-certification mortgage bracket is now close to 10 million.”