Second steppers finding it hard financially to move up housing ladder

Taylor Scott International News

Second Steppers in the UK need to find an extra £58,400 to fund the move to their second home, over double the average first time buyer deposit, according to new research. This gap is around £15,000 bigger than in 2013 and £18,000 bigger than in 2012, the fourth annual second steppers report from Lloyds Banks shows. Almost half, 46%, say the costs and fees associated with moving house is the biggest barrier to moving up the ladder. However, 40% of second steppers think it will be easier to sell this year, almost double the figure of 2013 and treble that of 2012. The report points out that growing house prices mean there is an ever widening gap for those making the move to the second step on the housing ladder. Yet despite this, many have increased confidence in the housing market and as a result, more confidence in being able to make the jump to the next step. Second steppers are the link between first time buyers and the rest of the housing ladder. They are living in the homes that the first time buyers need to buy to keep the market moving. Without movement from second steppers, movement on the ladder comes to a standstill on the second rung. Despite increasing house prices boosting equity levels for second steppers, the findings show people living in their first home have to find an extra £58,400 to plug the gap between the sale price of their current property and the cost of the house they would ideally move to. This figure is over double the amount of the average first time buyer deposit of £25,848, meaning it is far more expensive to move up the ladder than to get on it in the first place. Year on year, this figure has significantly increased. Nationally, the figure of £58,400 has risen by £14,900 since 2013 and £17,900 in 2012, when the figure was £40,500. However, across the country, there are significant regional variations in the perceived size of this gap. In the West Midlands, people will need to find just £21,000 extra to make the step to their desired second home. At the other end of the scale, people in East Anglia say they need £80,800 to make the jump. The report also points out that despite the growing financial gap between first and second properties, confidence in the market is improving. Just a quarter of second steppers see economic uncertainty as a key challenge, reducing by 10% in a year. Unsurprisingly, the number seeing negative equity as a challenge also reduced by 11 percentage points to just 14% of respondents. The Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme has had an impact on the mortgage market, with Treasury data showing that 79% of purchases with a mortgage guarantee were completed by first time buyers. This has contributed to second steppers being more confident that there is the demand coming through allowing them to sell. Just 29% see a lack of first time… Continue reading →

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