Second steppers need to find £75,000 to move

Michael Lloyd

March 6, 2019

Second steppers need to find an additional £75,388 on average to climb onto the next rung of the property ladder, from a flat to a house, an analysis of Land Registry data by online estate agents Housesimple has found.

In 2008, the step-up in price from a flat to a terraced or semi-detached house was on average £37,225. Today the price differential between the first and second rungs has more than doubled (102.5%), increasing by £38,000 in 10 years.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive of Housesimple, said: “While we’re seeing a positive trend with more first-time buyers getting onto the property ladder, second steppers – primarily those upsizing from a flat to a terraced or semi-detached house – still face a major jump to transition from a starter home to their family home.

“Despite government commitments to building more stock, family homes remain at a premium. The problem is particularly acute in London and the South of England, where the gap for Second Steppers can feel more like a chasm.

“As a result, second steppers migration from London has always been a major driver of house price inflation in commuter towns in the Home Counties and increasingly as far afield as areas of the South West.

“Things look brighter for those living or heading North, where house prices, although on the up, are still in affordable territory.

“And with healthy local economies in northern cities like Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester, the wealth of job opportunities are attracting homeowners who are looking for a fresh start, a better quality of life, and buying a family home is not just a pipe dream.”

When detached properties were also included in the average price of a house, second steppers would be looking at an average cost of £133,122, to climb onto the next rung of the ladder.

If the gap between the first and second rungs of the property ladder continues to widen at its current rate, by 2028 second steppers could be looking at an average £150,000 to jump up to the next rung.

Durham is the best area of the country for second steppers, with the difference between the first and second rungs of the property ladder an affordable £23,318.

Three locations in Yorkshire – Doncaster, Bradford and Hull – feature in the top 10 list of most affordable towns for second steppers, as do three in the North West – Blackburn, Oldham and Liverpool.

Not surprisingly, London is the worst city for second steppers, with the average price differential between the first and second rungs of the property ladder, an eye-watering £343,134. The university cities of Oxford and Cambridge also feature in the top five worst areas.

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