Scottish second steppers stuck fast

Robyn Hall

March 11, 2013

Almost two thirds of second steppers in Scotland wanted to move up the ladder in 2012 but were unable to as they faced an increasing number of challenges.

Laurence Mann, head of mortgages at Bank of Scotland, said: “Despite recent improvements in the housing market first-time sellers in Scotland continue to be faced with some very real and tough challenges when trying to make their next move on the property ladder.

“It is vital that this group of home movers receive more support and attention as they play an intrinsic role in getting the housing market moving again.”

Almost a fifth of respondents believed it was actually harder to move up the ladder than it was to get on it in the first place whilst almost half of second steppers believed it was equally difficult to move up the ladder than it was taking the first step onto it.

The report revealed second-time movers in Scotland are currently looking to stay longer in their first home, a sign that market conditions are changing their expectations.

In 2011 they expected to spend four years in their first home whereas now they are more likely to plan to stay for five and a half years.

On average second steppers have already had their home on the market for thirteen months whilst one in 10 have also previously marketed their property.

Over half (53%) are looking to move as their current property is too small for their needs, 26% are expecting to start a family and need more room, 38% plan to move to a new area whilst 14% are relocating for work.

Two thirds (66%) of those surveyed in Scotland believed that the level of deposit required was the main challenge for them being able to arrange a mortgage and as a result was a key reason they had not been able to move up the housing ladder so far.

In particular one in twenty (6%) said they didn’t have any money saved to put towards a deposit and one in ten (12%) didn’t have enough of a deposit saved at present.

Mann said: “To achieve a sustainable housing market in Scotland we need to see movement throughout the market. If second steppers get stuck on the first rung, movement at the bottom half of the ladder comes to a standstill, and this bottleneck will not only restrict the supply of starter properties but will have a knock on effect across the whole of the housing market.”

Addressing the challenges faced by those looking to move home, but suffering from either a reduction in equity or difficulty raising the deposit, Bank of Scotland is offering the Equity Support Scheme.

The Equity Support Scheme makes moving home possible for Bank of Scotland customers with low or negative equity and is designed to maintain momentum in the market. It allows borrowers to move to a property of the same value, buy a bigger home or downsize.

Customers can move without increasing their existing levels of borrowing and channel any additional funds in to their new home.

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