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First-time sellers face crisis of confidence

  • 06/03/2017
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Research suggests first-time sellers are still facing fresh frustrations when looking for a buyer despite an equity windfall of £100,000 from their first home.

Many are concerned about the economy and also fear it will be harder to sell their homes this year, according to Lloyds Bank.

The Second Stepper report suggests the typical buyer bought their first property in 2012, at an average of £140,004, so selling their home now hands them £105,068 in equity.

The findings show that the gap between the sale price of their current property and the cost of their ideal home – typically a detached property – is £126,000.

However, the average equity level of £105,068 from the sale of their first home can help to reduce this gap by 83%, so buyers only need to add an extra £21,005 to the existing mortgage.

Other factors have also improved, including record low mortgage rates and better home improving from 7.2 times UK gross annual average earnings in 2012 compared with 6.6 in 2016.

Despite these favourable conditions, two out of five of the first-time sellers surveyed think it will be more difficult to sell their existing property this year compared to 12 months ago, versus just 18% in 2015. Around one in three, 34%, are also considering staying and improving their homes instead.

The report reveals that 26% are worried about the uncertain economic climate, deposit size remains a key challenge for 29% and 32% of these new and growing families are struggling to find the right property.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage director, said: “Second Steppers are yesterday’s first-time buyers and the conditions to help them climb to the next rung on the property ladder are better than they’ve been for over four years. Despite this, many still feel that things are tough out there and that it’s getting more difficult to sell your first home and move up the ladder.

Of those surveyed, 34% preferred to buy a new build with 35% keen to move to a period home. The survey also found 26% of prospective buyers want to move to a recently developed or renovated property, while 18% are looking for a renovation project.

The ‘must-haves’ topping the list for any buyer property are a driveway or off-road parking for 62%, where 59% want a garden and 51% are keen to have a garage.

Although the size of their current property was the main reason (63%) for considering a move, Second Steppers appear to be in no rush unless it’s to their dream second home.

Over two thirds of first-time sellers have changed their reason for moving since they initially considered the move, with family being the main factor. A third originally sought more space but now need to move to accommodate a growing family, while a fifth want to move to be nearer good schools.

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