New families can't afford to move up the property ladder in more than 95% of UK towns.
New research published today shows they face a 50% increase in mortgage costs to fund the £70,000 needed to make the step up.
This leaves new families at the centre of a nationwide property stalemate, according to new research from Experian.
Many face the same affordability problems as first-time buyers.
In 265 of 276 UK towns, moving from a starter home to a larger family home can be as challenging as getting a first foot on the ladder.
The difference in the average cost of a one or two-bedroom home compared to a three to four-bedroom property is 50% or more in 96% of UK towns.
The average price difference across the UK is 42%, leaving homeowners needing to find an extra £70,000 on average to move up.
In more than half of the UK’s towns and cities, the current average family income would not even be enough to secure a mortgage on a one or two bedroom property.
The same is true in over two thirds of the UK’s postal districts.
Jonathan Westley, managing director of Experian’s Consumer Information Services, said: “The current housing squeeze is not only impacting on first-time buyers, but also second-time buyers, often people who have growing families and need more space.
“For families in some locations this can mean a choice between staying put or moving to another area in order to move up.
“Getting that first foot on the ladder is an important step, but moving on to a larger home can be as challenging, particularly given the shortage of housing in some areas and the increased focus on affordability in mortgage lending rules.”