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‘Second steppers’ find it harder to move up the property ladder

Up to 18% of homeowner’s ready to climb the property ladder find it harder than buying their first home, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Second Steppers report.

The report tracks the current predicament of homeowners trying to buy their second home whilst selling their first. More than half (56%) of homeowners say it’s taken longer than expected to buy their next home due to low savings rates.

Some 23% of homeowners say they will have children later than they originally planned, with 12% also saying they will have fewer children altogether. Roughly 13% had to change their career as a result of their difficulties in moving up the housing ladder.

The rise in moving cost and stamp duty, plus the difficulty in finding the right property, has resulted in more than half (52%) of those still living in the first home delaying their move up the property ladder, despite planning to do so in the last 12 months.

Mortgage product director at Lloyds Bank, Andrew Mason, said: “Moving up the property ladder has become more challenging for second steppers in recent years. The rise in house prices and moving costs, along with how difficult it is to find the right property means that they’ve had to wait longer than anticipated or even put off their move entirely until the right property comes along.”

Second steppers typically desire a detached four-bedroom property as their dream home, with the top three ideal features being a garage, driveway and kitchen/diner. It’s predicted that they would need to make another three moves before reaching their dream home once they manage to take their second step on the property ladder.

Some 28% of second steppers were not willing to sacrifice anything from their ‘must-have’ list of features in order to make it easier to find their next property. When asked what type of property second steppers want to purchase, the majority said that they wanted either a period (35%) or new build (34%) property in town with three bedrooms.

Many homeowners realise that their next home won’t be their final, with the average amount of time second steppers planning to stay in their second property up to 10 years. Only a third (31%) said that they don’t plan to move again once they’ve taken the second step.

Mason continued: “Second steppers seem to be very clear on what they want from their next property and will stay put and improve their current home rather than make any sacrifices.”

“Our research also shows that most homeowners think ahead and understand that it could take up to four moves in total to reach their ‘dream’ home.”

Location is the next most important factor for second steppers (27%) and 11% also said they desire more garden space. Unsurprisingly, the most common reason second steppers consider moving is due to their current property being too small (64%). Being close to transport links is lowest on the list with only 1% of second steppers seeing it as a priority.

Since initially considering their next move, over two thirds (67%) changed their reasons for moving. Being close to good performing schools (20%), having to accommodate a growing family (32%) and looking for a more ‘long-term’ home (15%) became bigger priorities once second steppers.

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