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Second-time buyers struggle to get their dream home

Written by: Christina Hoghton
Many homeowners want to move but can't afford to do so without some financial help.

Second steppers are struggling to save towards their ‘dream home’, according to research from Nationwide.

It found that nearly nine in 10 (86%) people living in their first home think it is harder now than a decade ago to make the jump to their second home.

The top barriers to moving home by potential second-time buyers include finding a home within budget (38%), finding a home in the right location (25%), having a large enough deposit (18%), not being able to cover moving costs (15%) and being in negative equity (8%).

One in five (21%) said they have found themselves stuck in a house that is too small for their family or in an area they don’t like due to housing affordability (16%).

Cutting back

The average cost of a second-time home is £370,539, which leaves many buyers in need of a financial helping hand to move.

One in seven (14%) have to borrow money from family to support a move, while a further eight in 10 (85%) would have to make some sort of sacrifice to be able to move up the housing ladder.

Around a quarter would have to change their career or job (27%) or increase working hours (26%) to move house. Just under a fifth would need to make significant changes to lifestyle (19%), while the same proportion would need to delay plans for starting a family (19%) and 16% would put on hold any plans to get married.

Ready to compromise

When it comes to compromising on the next property, a conservatory would be the first item second-time buyers would be willing to forgo (35%), followed by a garage (29%), a driveway (22%), and ideal schools (20%).

By contrast, the size of the bathroom (11%) the size of the kitchen (11%) and the number of bedrooms (13%) were the least likely items to be struck off the wish list, and one in five weren’t willing to forgo anything at all.

Henry Jordan, Nationwide’s director of mortgages, said: “There is a great deal of focus on the difficulties facing first-time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder but, as the research shows, second-time buyers are facing a variety of difficult challenges of their own.

“Many are having to make compromises in terms of size or location of their new home, or make spending cutbacks and personal sacrifices to move and avoid becoming stuck in a property that isn’t appropriate for their changing needs.”

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