Lloyds Bank has revealed that six in 10 second steppers think it’s harder to move up the property ladder than it was to get on in the first place.
35% of potential ‘second steppers’ feel that it’s harder to sell their current property now compared to 12 months ago. On average, they have been in their first property for three and a half years, and expect to wait another 18 months before moving up the ladder.
Second steppers now intend to stay in their second property for around five years, with 27% not planning to move again. However, 59% still think they will own either one or two more properties in their lifetime before reaching their dream home.
Meanwhile, another 27% of potential second steppers are considering staying put to undertake home improvements in case they can’t sell their property within their desired timescale.
Second steppers are increasingly having to compromise on personal circumstances, with 28% of respondents saying they plan to have fewer children than originally expected, which has more than doubled since 2016 (12%).
Andrew Mason, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: “When considering their next property purchase, second steppers typically look for more space, a better location and a garden. However, first-time sellers now say they have to wait longer to take the next step in the current buyers’ market.
“The move up the ladder for second steppers is often linked with their aspirations in life, meaning they’ll have to wait until they have raised enough money or found the right property. This is an important step however, as movement from second steppers helps with the flow of properties suitable for first-time buyers on the market.”
The majority of second steppers are married couples (82%) looking for more space. 52% would like their long-term home to be a detached house, with period properties (37%) and new builds (36%) at the top of the home wish list.
80% of second steppers want their dream home to have three or more bedrooms. The most popular features considered ‘must-haves’ in dream homes include a driveway (48%), a garden (44%), a kitchen/diner (32%) and a garage (32%).
The area is almost as important as the property, with distance to work (52%), transport links (30%) and catchment areas for schools (20%) high on the list of priorities. In fact, many second steppers are thinking about moving to a new area or region in search of a better lifestyle (40%), lower house prices (36%) and improved job opportunities (29%).