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Second Steppers Report Difficulties Moving Up the Housing Ladder

An increasing number of first-time sellers think it will be harder to sell their home this year, partly due to concerns over the economy, new research from Lloyds Bank has found.

Lloyds Bank’s latest Second Stepper report has revealed that while market conditions have significantly improved over the past six years, buyers and sellers face fresh frustrations and lack of confidence in moving to the next step.

Second Steppers are mostly couples and young families moving on from their first-time buyer flats to secure more space and a garden. Many had previously found themselves stuck in their starter home with little or no equity as the economic downturn took hold – but the latest figures show that conditions for this group have improved as they prepare to take their next step on the property ladder.

Higher house prices have increased the equity of those still living in their first homes, with 45% feeling that their equity position has improved over the last year.

Despite these favourable conditions, however, two out of five (39%) Second Steppers recently surveyed think it will be more difficult to sell their existing property this year compared to 12 months ago, versus just one in five (18%) in 2015. Around one in three (34%) are also considering staying put and improving their homes rather than moving.

The report reveals that 26% are worried about the uncertain economic climate, deposit size remains a key challenge (29%) and a third (32%) are struggling to find the right property.

“Second Steppers are telling us that finding the right property can be tough, and because of that, they’re delaying their move,” commented Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Director. “However, if too many Second Steppers hold out for a long time for their ‘dream home’ this could reduce the availability of homes for first-time buyers and slow the market.”

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