‘Second Stepper’ home sales down in two thirds of towns
The number of towns and cities in England and Wales experiencing a decline in sales of typical ’second stepper’ properties has risen to its highest level since 2009, according to new research by Lloyds TSB.
In the first seven months of 2012, 374 (or 65%) out of the 577 towns and cities across England and Wales covered in the survey recorded an annual fall in sales of second stepper homes. This is the highest total for three years, a rise of 2.2% compared with the same period in 2011 (366).
Greater London (79%) has the highest proportion of areas that recorded a fall, followed by the north of England (73%) and the North West (70%).
Nine of the 10 areas that recorded the biggest falls in second stepper sales in 2012 are in the south of England. Torpoint in Cornwall recorded the biggest fall (-51.7%), followed by Kings Langley (-51.6%) and Chertsey (-51.2%). Outside southern England, Cottingham in Yorkshire recorded the biggest decrease (-46.4%).
In contrast, Ashington in Northumberland recorded the biggest rise in second stepper home sales (85.7%), followed by March in Cambridgeshire and Bude in Cornwall (both 60%).
In general, areas that have witnessed the largest decline in second stepper sales have also seen the biggest falls in first-time buyer house prices since 2008. The price of a typical first-time buyer home has fallen by an average of 16% (£33,238) over the past four years in the 10 towns and cities that experienced the largest falls in second stepper home sales in 2012. This is double the 8% (£7,338) fall in the 10 areas with the highest growth in second stepper sales.
In the 10 locations that experienced the largest falls in second stepper home sales in 2012, the house price premium associated with trading up from a typical first-time buyer home to a second stepper property has risen by 41% (£37,568) over the past four years from £91,502 in 2008 to £129,070 in 2012.
In contrast, the cost of trading up in the 10 areas that saw the biggest increase in second stepper property sales has fallen by nearly a fifth (19% or -£19,191) since 2008.
Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, said: “With many second steppers struggling to fill the financial void left by the erosion of their equity position amid lower house prices and the sizable cost of trading up, it is unsurprising that sales of typical second stepper homes have declined significantly over the past year. The current difficulties facing second steppers remain one of the key challenges in today’s property market, which needs to be addressed to avoid the traditional property ladder turning into something of a slippery slope.”buying house, real estate, selling house
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