Second Steppers Struggle Too!

by Mark Johnston

Second Steppers Struggle Too!

In the years before the financial crisis it was almost guaranteed that property would go up in value enough to move in to a second, larger home however, many home owners have now found that their homes just have not increasing in value enough to fund this move.

It seems that stagnant and decreasing property prices across the country and the high costs involved with moving have meant that too many people are unable to move house.

Second Steppers are a subset of home movers and refer only to those looking to get on the second rung of the housing ladder.

Many second steppers bought their first home around the height of the property boom, meaning that they might have struggled to move on as they have little or no equity left in their property.

According to a new report by the Post Office almost one in three homeowners are unable to move up the housing ladder because of the high costs involved.

A recent report has found that home owners trying to take their second step on the housing ladder have seen their trading up costs more than double over the last decade.

It appears then that Home owners looking to take their second step on the property ladder are facing the toughest market conditions for over a quarter of a century as home affordability for second steppers is less favourable than for first time buyers.

The current affordability position for second steppers is similar to much of the 1990s when falling house prices in the first half of the decade and weak house price growth thereafter, adversely affected levels of equity.

Home affordability, negative equity, higher deposits, lack of buyers and cost of moving are just some of the challenges this group of home movers face.

All this has made it typically harder for home buyers to move up to the second rung of the ladder.

Some 61 per cent of home owners, have been stuck on the property ladder for 12 months and one in five now believe it is harder to move up the ladder than get on it in the first place.

Suren Thiru, housing economist at LloydsTSB, said“The current problems facing second steppers have serious implications for the wider housing market, creating a bottleneck that significantly limits the number of homes available to first-time buyers as well as stopping many homeowners who need to move, possibly for family reasons, from doing so.”

Many second steppers believed they would need to borrow more than £19,000 order to move in to another property typically from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, grandparents or even friends, compared with around £13,000 when similar research was carried out a year ago.


Marc Page, mortgages director at Lloyds TSB, said: “Parents have long been helping to fund their children’s first home, but many  are now having to provide further support as they move up the ladder.”

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