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Homeowners find it tough to make second move

More than half (52%) of homeowners seeking to take their second step on the property ladder were unable to do so in the last 12 months. 

Lloyds Bank surveyed 525 ‘second steppers’ and claimed 25% were finding the task more difficult than buying their first home – up for 18% in 2016. 

Challenges such as paying stamp duty (SDLT), finding the right property and the costs involved with relocating conspired to hold homeowners back. 

These obstacles even made respondents reconsider personal circumstances, such as when to have children and their careers.

23% of homeowners said they would have children later than originally planned, while 13% have changed careers as a result.

Furthermore, low saving rates resulted in respondents saving for longer in an attempt to make their second house move.

Overall, 39% said it was harder to sell their current home in today’s housing market compared to last year.

Andrew Mason, mortgage product director at Lloyds Bank, said:

“Moving up the property ladder has become more challenging for second steppers in recent years.

“The rise in house prices and moving costs, along with how difficult it is to find the right property means they’ve had to wait longer than anticipated or even put off their move entirely until the right property comes along.

“Second steppers seem to be very clear on what they want from their next property and will stay put and improve their current home rather than make any sacrifices.”

Stamp duty payments

Homeowners in England and Wales paid £8.3 billion in stamp duty in 2016 – a 17% increase from £7.1 billion in 2015.

According to further figures from Lloyds Bank, the average house buyer paid £12,693 in SDLT last year.

Over this period, homeowners in London paid an average of £40,576 in SDLT. 

In the South East, the total value of stamp duty paid between 2001 and 2017 was £20,133, while the cheapest SDLT bills were in Wales (£4,489) and the North (£4,212). 

The research shows house prices in Wales and the North are generally cheaper than in the South East, resulting in homeowners paying less SDLT. 

You’re liable to pay SDLT on house purchases worth more than £125,000 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (or £145,000 in Scotland where Land and Buildings Transaction Tax applies).

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