As an industry, our focus is on getting people onto the housing ladder. Over the last few years, first-time buyers and their needs have been at the forefront of discussion, and the target of many changes. We know that first-time buyers are getting there – but what happens to that first-time buyer after they’re on the ladder?
Second steppers (those looking to buy home number 2 and take the second step on the ladder) are often overlooked in the housing conversation. There has been very little research done into their behaviours and how they are navigating the market. Therefore, we did some research of our own.
In a survey of over 1,000 UK homeowners, expectations of moving success amongst second steppers were mixed, particularly on the subject of raising a deposit. Almost a quarter of them said that they will probably need a gifted deposit from the Bank of Mum and Dad to be able to afford their next home. Now, the average age of those that are identified as second steppers from our survey is 50, so to get a gifted deposit may mean calling on their retiree parents or their first-time buyer age children to fund the difference.
However, the doors to the Bank of Mum and Dad swing both ways for our second steppers, as 31% of them expect to need to gift money to a child or relative in the future, to help them to afford to buy a home. From these results, it is clear that with rising house prices, affordability isn’t just affecting those at the very bottom or top, but everyone in the market, meaning some people simply cannot afford to move home. Although 35% of those we surveyed said they would move home if they needed more space, 17% of second steppers would never consider moving home again before retiring.
Considering that second steppers own houses that are ideal for the first-time buyer, ensuring that this group has the confidence and security to move up the ladder is key to getting more people into their first homes. As an industry, we must talk about incorporate all groups in the property market, and make sure we are creating a market that works for everyone.
Knowing the client is key, so we’ve put together another one of our infographics as a guide to the second stepper. How do you think we can help second steppers? Join the conversation in the comments.