More homeowners want to take their second step on housing ladder

Second steppers often have more factors to consider than first-time buyers, such as the need for more room or being close to a specific school.

Confidence among ‘second steppers’ is improving, newly released figures from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks show.

According to a fresh survey, close to 40% of first-time homeowners in this country are planning to take their second step on the housing ladder, with many seeking to up-size to a larger home.

The results show the number of first-time homeowners who have lived in their homes for at least two years are now planning to put up a ‘for sale’ sign has increased by 14% compared to the corresponding period last year.

Among those looking to move home, a third plan to move out of necessity as they have outgrown their current home, while 24% are focused on moving up the property ladder.

The research also underlined the variety of aspirations of ‘second steppers’ across the UK. Those in the North East and North West are the most focused on moving with almost half – 48% – hoping to buy a new home, compared to just 29% of those in the South West.

Regional breakdown of plans for first-time homeowners:

Region

Planning to Move

Not Planning to Move

Not Sure

North East

48%

32%

20%

North West

48%

30%

22%

London

45%

34%

21%

South East

41%

31%

28%

UK average

39%

33%

28%

East

38%

26%

36%

Scotland

38%

31%

31%

Midlands

33%

34%

33%

Wales

33%

43%

24%

Yorkshire

31%

31%

38%

South West

29%

43%

28%

Despite record-low mortgage borrowing rates, affordability was cited as the main concern for 30% of those unsure about moving, 29% said they were concerned about finding their dream home, while almost one in five (18%) feel hesitant about taking on a larger mortgage.

Second steppers often have more factors to consider than first time purchasers, including the need for more room or being close to a specific school, especially if they have a growing family.

But second steppers of course are heavily reliant on the first-time buyers, which remain the lifeblood of the housing market.

As well as accounting for a significant proportion of housing transactions, first-time buyers also play a crucial role in the wider market, for example in helping to complete chains, enabling those that already own a property to move; especially aspiring second steppers that typically own small units ideally suited to those acquiring their first property.

Recent research by Halifax found that a gap between the average ages of first-time buyers in different parts of the UK has set in despite property price growth slowing.

The latest house price data from Halifax show that prices rose by 5.8% in September compared with a year ago, and yet those purchasing property in the priciest areas are on average seven years older than those in cheaper areas.

The Halifax said that the youngest first-time buyers were in Carlisle in Cumbria and Torfaen in south Wales where they bought at an average age of 27. The oldest were in Slough in Berkshire as well as Barnet and Ealing in London where the average age was 34.

Overall in the UK, the lender said the average first-time buyer was aged 30.

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