Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Buyers trapped on property ladder

The plight of first-time buyers has been well documented and various schemes have been introduced to stimulate the housing market from the bottom up, but many of these exclude a different part of the market – second steppers – which is also flailing.

The average age for a second purchase is now 41 and little has improved in the past year for those looking to move up on to the second rung of the housing ladder, according to a new report from Lloyds TSB. "First-time sellers continue to be faced with some very real and tough challenges when trying to make their next move," says Stephen Noakes, the mortgage director for Lloyds TSB, who says that this then stifles the whole 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 housing market."

Some 61% of would-be second steppers were unable to move up the ladder and over half said that market conditions hadn't improved for them compared with the previous year, the bank's survey found.

Raising a deposit, which at present will cost an average of £58,000, is the biggest barrier.

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