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Second step help

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 18, 2013

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IT used to be first-time housebuyers going to the Bank of Mum and Dad for a financial foot-up.

Not any more it seems!

For these days, nearly a fifth of second steppers are hoping for help as trading up costs have more than doubled over the last decade, a new report has shown.

The price difference between a typical first-time buyer flat and a semi-detached home has reached £43,800 across Wales and England, soaring by 143 per cent from £18,000 10 years ago, a Lloyds TSB survey revealed.

Over the last year alone this disparity grew by £3,000, and homeowners are looking to family – grandparents too – to help bridge the yawning gap.

Lloyds TSB said: "Parents have long been helping to fund their children's first home, but many are now having to provide further support as they move up the ladder."

People in the South East face the biggest premium for that next step up the ladder, needing almost £94,000, while Londoners need another £64,000.

At the other end of the scale, it is typically £14,000 in Wales.

While three-fifths of second steppers (59 per cent) will plunder their savings to help fund the move, some 18 per cent said they were considering asking family members to help them out – typically £19,000 from family or friends, compared with around £13,000 a year ago.

This comes hot on the heels of a Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) report last week warning that the Bank of Mum and Dad is already stretched to breaking point as parents struggle to build their pensions and pay off their own mortgages in the face of deposit demands from sons and daughters.

A major problem is that many of those now wanting to move bought their first home at the height of the boom. Now that values have fallen, many are struggling as they have little or no equity left in their property.

Marc Page, mortgages director at Lloyds TSB, said: "Parents have long been helping to fund their children's first home, but many are now having to provide further support as they move up the ladder.

"This indicates that these customers still need further support.

"To achieve a sustainable housing market we need to see movement throughout the market. If second steppers get stuck on the first rung, movement at the bottom half of the ladder comes to a standstill."

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