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Second steppers: trapped in first home

The Bank of Scotland has launched its annual ‘Second Stepper’ report which tracks the ongoing plight of first time sellers amid a challenging housing market in Scotland. The report reveals that home affordability for Second Steppers has become much less favourable and declining house prices have led to equity shortfalls for many.

Second Steppers are homeowners looking to sell their first home and move up the ladder. Many potential Second Steppers in today’s market would have bought close to the peak of the market and are now finding it increasingly difficult to get off the ‘first rung’.

According to Bank of Scotland’s report almost two thirds of Scottish Second Steppers have wanted to climb up the ladder in the past 12 months but have been unable to do so as they face an increasing number of challenges.

More than one in four believe it is now harder to move up the ladder than get on it in the first place, this compares to one in five for the UK as a whole.

A lack of offers from potential first-time buyers (40%) and a lack of affordable property to buy (31%), were cited as key barriers delaying the sale of people’s current property.

More help is required to support this important segment of the housing market. Around three quarters  of respondents are calling on the Government to take action to help those trying to sell their first home and a substantial number would like to see their mortgage provider offer new products to help them overcome some of these challenges.

However, many first time sellers have been taking action to help improve their situation. Around two thirds have been saving to help fund their next move and one in four have also been overpaying on their mortgage to help build up their equity.