Much is being done in the UK to help first time buyers onto the housing ladder but new research suggests that it is those moving up that are really struggling.
One in four so called second steppers, those moving from their first home into a bigger one, say they need financial help to move up the property ladder.
While a third of second steppers would move again to obtain a bigger property or more bedrooms, some 17% plan to never move home again, and a report from conveyancer services provider My Home Move suggests they are Britain’s forgotten home owners.
The research, which looked into the moving habits of 1,000 UK home owners, also found that over 30% of second steppers expect to need to gift money to a relative to buy a home sometime in the future.
‘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,’ said Doug Crawford, chief executive officer of My Home Move.
‘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,’ he pointed out.
‘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 buyer,’ he added.
He believes that the most worrying aspect of the research is that is that this situation has become an expectation for many, as 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.
The research also 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.
‘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,’ Crawford concluded.