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Second steppers and how Britain’s ‘forgotten’ homeowners are managing in the housing market

  • 1 in 4 second steppers expect to need a gifted deposit to move up the property ladder; with one third believing they will need to gift money in the future to their children or relatives
  • While a third of second stepper would move again to obtain a bigger property or more bedrooms, 17% plan to never move home again
  • Helping second steppers could be the key to helping more first-time buyers onto the housing ladder

New research from My Home Move reveals how Britain’s ‘forgotten homeowners’, and in particular second steppers, are managing their home moving expectations, as 1 in 4 expect to need a gifted deposit to make their next move.*

The research, which looked into the moving habits of 1,000 UK home owners, also highlighted that over 30% of second steppers expect to need to gift money to a relative to buy a home, at some point in their lives.

Commenting on these findings, Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move said,

“When people talk about the housing market, all too often they think of first-time buyers and occasionally downsizers; but rarely do they think about those already on the housing ladder - and this is wrong. Second steppers and middle movers, those who already own their first, second or third properties, are the ones who possess the majority of Britain’s housing stock; and so to better understand them, we believe, provides a greater insight into the challenges the market faces as a whole.

“Possibly one of the most telling results from our survey is that even when someone enters the market, there is no guarantee they will be able to raise enough capital to keep climbing the ladder. For second-steppers in particular, needing a gifted deposit to take the next step may be holding them back from moving on, keeping thousands of properties off the market for would-be first-time buyers.

“But most worrying of all is that this situation has become an expectation for many, as over a third (34.9%) of all those surveyed said that they anticipate that they will need to gift money in the future, to help the next generation buy a home.”

Further analysis of the research, by the UK’s leading provider of mover conveyancing services, found that 14% of second steppers had no intention of moving home again before they retire, while 33% cite needing more bedrooms or a bigger property as the main reason they would move in the future.

Continuing Doug Crawford said, “Very often people’s personal circumstances change far quicker than is expected, and as property professionals it is our job to provide products and services which go beyond the ‘one size fits all’ approach. The Autumn Budget attempted to provide a lifeline for first-time buyers, thanks to the abolition of Stamp Duty for them on properties up to value of £300,000**; but we urge the Government and future policy makers to view the housing market as a whole, and consider creating policies which impact positively on all home owners, not just those at the bottom of the ladder.”


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