Second steppers: The average cost of stepping onto next rung of property ladder doubles in 10 years

by Jonny Stevens on 4th March 2019

Second Steppers need to find an additional £75,388, on average, to climb onto the next rung of the property ladder, from a flat to a house*, according to our Land Registry data research.

 We investigated the challenges faced by first-time homeowners looking to upsize, by analysing the average price of a flat and house (only terraced and semi-detached houses considered), today compared to a decade ago, in 100 major UK towns and cities, to see how the price differential has changed.

 In 2008, the step-up in price from a flat to a terraced or semi-detached house was, on average, £37,225. Today, the price differential between the first and second rungs has more than doubled (102.5%), increasing by £38,000, in 10 years.

 When detached properties were also included in the average price of a house, Second Steppers would be looking at an average cost of £133,122, to climb onto the next rung of the ladder.

If the gap between the first and second rungs of the property ladder continues to widen at its current rate, by 2028, Second Steppers could be looking at an average £150,000 to jump up to the next rung.

Best and Worst

Durham is the best area of the country for Second Steppers, with the difference between the first and second rungs of the property ladder an affordable £23,318. While, three locations in Yorkshire - Doncaster, Bradford and Hull - feature in the Top 10 list of most affordable towns for Second Steppers, as do three in the North West; Blackburn, Oldham and Liverpool.

Not surprisingly, London is the worst city for Second Steppers, with the average price differential between the first and second rungs of the property ladder, an eye-watering £343,134. The university cities of Oxford and Cambridge also feature in the Top 5 worst areas.

Sam Mitchell, CEO of Housesimple, comments: “While we’re seeing a positive trend with more first-time buyers getting onto the property ladder, Second Steppers - primarily those upsizing from a flat to a terraced or semi-detached house - still face a major jump to transition from a starter home to their family home. Despite Government commitments to building more stock, family homes remain at a premium. The problem is particularly acute in London and the south of England, where the gap for Second Steppers can feel more like a chasm. As a result, Second Steppers migration from London has always been a major driver of house price inflation in commuter towns in the home counties and increasingly as far afield as areas of the south-west.

“Things look brighter for those living or heading north, where house prices, although on the up, are still in affordable territory. And with healthy local economies in northern cities like Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester, the wealth of job opportunities are attracting homeowners who are looking for a fresh start, a better quality of life, and buying a family home is not just a pipe dream.”

The following table shows the average prices of a flat, terraced and semi-detached house, and the price differential between a flat and a terraced/semi-detached house, comparing 2008 and 2018:

2008

2018

Average price - flat

£111,662

£147,149

Average price - terraced house

£133,881

£197,363

Average price - semi-detached house

£163,892

£247,710

Average price - house*

£148,886

£222,537

Price difference between flat and house

£37,225

£75,388

The following table shows the best towns and cities for Second Steppers, based on the smallest average price differential between a flat and house:

Town/City

Region

(A) Avg price - flat (£)

(B) Avg. price - house* (£)

Price difference between (A) and (B)(£)

Durham

North East

69,288

92,606

23,318

Nottingham

East Midlands

115,112

141,673

26,561

Stoke-on-Trent

West Midlands

76,678

103,705

27,027

Blackburn

North West

74,285

102,492

28,207

Middlesbrough

North East

68,898

98,070

29,172

Doncaster

South Yorkshire

79,870

109,167

29,297

Bradford

West Yorkshire

101,340

130,758

29,418

Oldham

North West

98,496

128,393

29,897

Hull

East Yorkshire

82,220

112,600

30,380

Liverpool

North West

110,542

141,553

31,011

Manchester

North West

161,253

192,979

31,726

Barnsley

South Yorkshire

77,605

109,881

32,276

Chesterfield

East Midlands

101,160

133,682

32,522

Salford

North West

131,337

164,910

33,573

Mansfield

East Midlands

77,640

111,298

33,658

The following table shows the worst towns and cities for Second Steppers, based on the largest average price differential between a flat and house:

Town/City

Region

(A) Avg price - flat (£)

(B) Avg. price - house* (£)

Price difference between (A) and (B)(£)

London

London

427,197

770,331

343,134

St Alban’s

East

294,852

513,390

218,538

Cambridge

East

294,991

476,955

181,964

Oxford

South East

280,208

455,866

175,659

Guildford

South East

261,900

407,281

145,381

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