The traditional pattern of home buying in this country is that you start off small and gradually work your way up the ladder. This depends on everyone being able to move along at the same pace; trading up until the day arrives when you trade down again. Does this model hold good in today’s economy? Lloyds Banking Group recently published its third annual “Second Steppers” report. These reports look at people who are living in the home they bought as first time buyers and are now looking to move up the ladder. The report shows how tough it is for people in this situation; for example 61% of second steppers had wanted to move in 2012 but were unable to do so.

Lloyds refer to recent data suggesting that first time buyers are starting to return to the housing market but their research into second steppers is not so encouraging. Over half of them (53%) said that market conditions had not improved for them compared with the previous year.

There are many reasons why people find it so hard to make their second move. Raising the necessary deposit is a big problem along with a lack of affordable housing to move to, the high costs associated with moving, negative equity and a lack of offers from potential buyers. Stamp Duty alone is a nasty shock for many people when they come to work out how much they can afford to spend on a new property. Does this mean that things are looking good for professional landlords? Many of our landlord insurance clients have properties with larger families as tenants.

Lloyds Banking Group say that over half of the people they surveyed are looking to move because their current home is too small for their needs. 12% said they were relocating for work reasons.

Stephen Noakes, Mortgage Director, Lloyds TSB commented: “To achieve a sustainable housing market we need to see movement throughout the market. If second steppers get stuck on the first rung, movement at the bottom half of the ladder comes to a standstill.”

However, the report says that there are some signs of hope. Almost a third of the people surveyed thought the housing market would improve this year. If you would like to take a look at the full report visit

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