Detached houses are now the property of choice for home owners moving up from their first property, new research shows.

In 2010, three bed semi-detached properties were the preferred next step but now they are increasingly looking to move to a bigger four bedroomed detached house, according to the latest report from Lloyds Bank.

The research also shows that second steppers spend 19 months longer in their first home than they expected, 37% are increasing their savings and 41% are overpaying their mortgage to fund the £58,000 jump to their next home.

In 2010 when three bed semi-detached properties were the preferred option some 60% said that they were looking to move to a semi-detached house, with 48% also saying detached properties would also be an option.

Fast forward to 2014 and 54% of Second Steppers stated they would be looking to next move to a detached house, now the most preferred option, with semi-detached properties reducing to 51%.

Three bed properties remain the preferred size of house in 2014 at 45%, although this has reduced by 10% since 2010 while four bed properties seeing a significant increase in this time. Some 31% now say they are looking for a four bed house, an increase of 7%.

Second steppers are becoming increasingly prepared for their next move and taking their time to make the jump up to a family home. On average, they are spending 19 months longer in their first property than they expected as they continue to save and build up equity.

Overall, the average second stepper spends four years and five months in their first home. Only 6% of these people intended on staying put for over six years, however in reality, some 36% have done this.

The research also found that 37% have increased their monthly savings in the last year, and 41% are overpaying their mortgage. As a result, the proportion of people concerned about the size of deposit they require to move also fell in the last year, from 50% of second steppers in 2013, to 37% in 2014. This suggests that changing behaviours and increased levels of equity are allowing people to put more towards their next deposit and save for bigger homes.

The findings also show that second steppers may be delaying having a family until they can move into a suitable property. Those moving as result of needing more room to start a family have reduced by nine percentage points in two years, to 22%, from 31% in 2012.

Value for money remains a key driver for purchasing a property, with 46% of second steppers saying so. This is down 6% in the past year.

Finding a nice area to live in is growing in importance and has seen the greatest year on year increase. In the past year, the number of respondents selecting this has risen by 6% to 38%. Both of these changes in the past 12 months suggest a more long term perspective for second steppers looking to move into a more permanent family home, the report says.

‘Second steppers are increasingly looking to move into their long term family home for their next move, with detached houses now the property of choice for this group,’ said Andy Hulme, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank.

‘They’ve realised that they need to be savvy with their money, with more second steppers saving more each month and overpaying on their mortgage. Higher levels of equity and larger savings pots are allowing them to put more down in deposits, helping them make this big jump up the ladder,’ he added.

The findings show people living in their first home have to find an extra £58,400 to plug the gap between the sale price of their current property and the cost of the house they would ideally move to. This figure has significantly risen by £14,900 since 2013 and £17,900 in 2012, when the figure was £40,500.

However, it seems people are prepared to take this jump to avoid making more frequent and more costly steps up the housing ladder. Fees and charges associated are still seen as the biggest barrier to moving home for 46%.

The report points out that second steppers are the link between first time buyers and the rest of the housing ladder. They are living in the homes that the first time buyers need to buy to keep the market moving.

With second steppers taking longer to move from their first house up the housing ladder, supply of existing first time buyer homes is reduced, potentially increasing the difficulty for many to get on the housing ladder in the first place. Without movement from second steppers, there is increased importance of a good supply of new homes being built to ease pressure on the first rung of the ladder.

Adam McHenry, Director of Cadman Homes, a family owned and run estate agents in Rugby has also seen this trend. Some first time buyers are also pooling resources with partners and buying the “future family home” in areas with good schools such as Hillmorton, Bilton and Dunchurch,  rather than the traditional town centre terraces that used to be popular with first time sellers and second steppers. Because of this there is a shortage of supply for 3 and 4 bed houses in Hillmorton, Cawston, Bilton and Dunchurch from £250,000 to £500,000 and the new stamp duty changes announced this week will also help boost demand as these houses become more affordable due to less stamp duty burden.

If you are looking at selling in the new year, contact Adam and the team in Rugby on 01788 560 905 or pop into the Castle Street office.

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