Online House Hunter: Second Steppers
JUST when I think I’ve discovered all the jargon and buzz-phrases in the housing market, I come across another one. Second Steppers are apparently first time buyers who should be ready to move on to their second home. I’m not sure if Lloyds TSB invented the phrase (perhaps Second Time Buyers would have sufficed!) but they have just produced their second annual report on the topic – and it makes for interesting reading.
It’s not hard to imagine the demons haunting Second Steppers: the value of their home has dropped to a point where selling at a loss is, at best, unpalatable. And in addition to the negative equity is the need for higher deposits on a second home, a lack of buyers in the market place anyway and the cost of moving at a time of austerity.
It’s the advice from the Second Steppers they interviewed last year that one hopes would offer the best practical advice but to be honest it’s largely self-evident:
- Build up your savings as much as you can.
- You may need to accept a lower price on your current house
- Renting your current house until the market improves is another option.
- “Present your house to its best” – declutter, redecorate and fix any problems before opening the door to potential viewers.
- Be patient
- Stay enthusiastic
Lloyds TSB themselves offer slightly more practical advice with a ‘Lend a Hand Homemover’ product. The brutal reality, however, is that many people are going to have stay still or take the hit. And at a time of national job uncertainty, few are going to take the leap of faith moving to a bigger home and bigger mortgage. But at least giving the Second Steppers a name identifies another stumbling block in the housing economy. And on one point, all can agree: the government would be well advised to step in and lend a hand. Perhaps a stamp duty holiday for Second Steppers now the FTB stamp duty holiday is coming to an end might be an option.
- Independent Property Search Engine
- Independent Property section
- Lloyds TSB
- Lloyds TSB Second Steppers report
- Council of Mortgage Lenders
- DirectGov: Types of Mortgages
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