Affordability for second steppers improves

Sam Cordon

October 18, 2013

Housing affordability for second steppers stood at 4.2 times gross annual average earnings in August 2013 compared with a ratio of 5.0 in August 2012.

A typical second stepper’s current equity position accounts for 18% (£31,174) of the price of an average second stepper home, a rise from -1% in 2012.

Although the position has improved for those looking to put down a deposit on a new home, for some potential second home movers this may still not be sufficient to put towards a deposit when also taking the cost of moving into account.

There were around 176,700 homemover mortgages in the first seven months of 2013, marginally (3%) lower than the same period a year earlier. This was in sharp contrast to the 19% increase in first-time buyers over the same period.

The average homemover deposit in 2013 is £73,184 and the average age of a homemover is 40.

Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, said: “Housing affordability for the typical second stepper has improved in the past year.

“Nonetheless, many potential second steppers who bought their first home around the time of the peak in house prices in 2007 may still be unable to move because they have very low, or negative, levels of equity in their homes.

“The lack of equity in many people’s homes largely explains why the number of homemovers in the first seven months of 2013 was broadly unchanged compared with a year earlier.”

The review also revealed considerable variation in housing affordability between regions, with northern regions more affordable than southern regions for second steppers.

This is largely a reflection of the lower prices for second stepper properties in the north. The West Midlands and East Midlands (both 3.1) are the most affordable regions for those in their first home looking to take their next step on the property ladder. While London (5.7), South West (4.5) and South East (4.4) are the least affordable.

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