Belfast Telegraph

Third of homeowners 'disappointed by their progress in the property market'

One in three homeowners had expected to be further up the property ladder by now, a report has found.

On average, three-quarters (74%) of homeowners who are not currently living in their "forever" property believe it will take up to two more house to get there, Lloyds Bank found.

With house prices having increased strongly in recent years, first-time buyers were more likely than the average homeowner to say they had expected to be further up the property ladder.

While one in three (33%) homeowners generally expected to have made more progress on the property ladder, 43% of first-time buyers were lagging behind their expectations.

However, the research also suggested homeowners are slightly more optimistic about the length of time it will take for them to upgrade to their forever property.

While 81% of homeowners believe they will have to wait longer to buy their long-term property than they would have had to a decade ago, this is an improvement compared with 2012, when 88% felt this way.

Lloyds Bank mortgage products director Andrew Mason said: "There's still a perception amongst a large number of homeowners that their long-term aspirational home seems far off and they are not moving up the housing ladder as quickly as they had hoped, although this perception has been gradually improving over the last few years."

Lloyds' survey of 1,000 UK homeowners was carried out earlier this year, before the EU referendum vote. Since the vote took place, the Bank of England base rate has been cut to 0.25%, making many people's mortgage repayments cheaper.

A house price index from Nationwide Building Society suggested this week that, despite some housing market uncertainty in the wake of the vote to leave the EU, property price growth has accelerated, taking the average price of a UK home to £206,145 in August.

The continued upward pressure on house prices has been put down to a lack of homes on the market.

Lloyds' survey found the average length of time that homeowners had been in their current property was just over seven-and-a-half years.

Two-fifths (40%) of homeowners said their ideal property would have three bedrooms, making this the most popular choice, while nearly one in four (24%) wanted a four-bedroomed property.

Gardens, garages and conservatories were high on homeowners' lists of desirable features for a forever property.

The average price of a three-bedroomed home in the UK is £222,745, Lloyds said, with this typical cost varying from £485,050 in London to £114,940 in Northern Ireland, £165,676 in Scotland and £145,500 in Wales.