Mind the gap: Second rung on housing ladder moves further away

  • 10 years ago
  • Uncategorized

Recent homebuyers should mind the gap, Lloyds Bank has warned. The second rung on the UK housing ladder is moving further away, as second steppers – those making the move from a first time purchase to another home – are faced with a £60,000 leap.

Thought being a first time buyer was tough? Try being a second time seller: Despite increasing house prices boosting equity levels for Second Steppers, they require £58,400, more than double the average FTB deposit to move, This gap is around £15,000 bigger than in 2013 and £18,000 bigger than in 2012.

According to the fourth annual Second Steppers Report from Lloyds Bank, growing house prices mean there is an ever widening gap for those making the move to the second step on the housing ladder. 

The problem is not just one for individuals, though: the issue has the potential to impact the rest of the housing market’s recovery. Indeed, second Steppers are the link between first time buyers and the rest of the property 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.

Nonetheless, 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.

Indeed, while almost half (46 per cent) say the costs and fees associated with moving house is the biggest barrier to moving up the ladder, 40 per cent of Second Steppers think it will be easier to sell this year, almost double the figure of 2013 and treble that of 2012.

The Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme has had an impact on the mortgage market, with HM Treasury data showing that 79 per cent of purchases with a mortgage guarantee were completed by first time buyers. This has contributed to Second Steppers being more optimistic that there is the demand coming through allowing them to sell. Just under a third (29 per cent) see a lack of first time buyers as a key challenge, significantly reducing by 12 percentage points since 2013.

Indeed, 40 per cent believe it will be easier to sell their property now than last year. This is significantly up on 2013, when only one in five (22 per cent) thought it would be easier.

It is buying, though, that poses the biggest challenge. There has been a decline in the number of Second Steppers who wanted to move up the property ladder but couldn’t do so. Nationally, just over half (54 per cent) wanted to move up the property ladder in the past 12 months but haven’t yet made the move. In 2013 this figure was 7 per cent higher at 61 per cent.

In most regions, Second Steppers are looking to pay more than the national average price for their next property. Across the country, Second Steppers expect to pay £282,000 for a property, which is a £10,000 premium over and above the national average house price of £272,000.

Marc Page, Mortgages Director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The jump to the next step is growing quickly for Second Steppers, with the gap to the second home now being almost £60,000 nationally.

“However, as house prices are rising and barriers to the next step are reducing, confidence about selling the first home and being able to move up is increasing. For most regions of the country this is helping people make that jump across the gap to the next rung on the ladder.”

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