Figures show that homeowners on the first rung of the property ladder in Swansea have the smallest percentage jump to the second rung. The average price of a one to two bedroom flat in Swansea is £133,561, compared to £146,448 for a terraced or semi-detached house. That’s a price difference of just £12,887, which is around 57% of the average annual salary in Swansea, which stands at £22,829
The problem of second stepping has forced couples across the UK to stay in their first properties, which are often flats, much longer than they would like. Placebuzz.com figures reveal towns and cities around the UK where the second step, from flat to a terraced or semi-detached house, is the largest and smallest. Only major towns and cities have been considered for this research.
Andy Hatoum, co-founder of Placebuzz.com, said: “These figures show that the gap between the first and second rung of the property ladder in many areas of the UK remains too wide for many couples to consider buying their first family house.
“The second step is the often the hardest step to take on the property ladder. But it’s also the most important for many couples, as this is the property they stay in for years to raise a family. It’s not just the price differential between a flat and a house, there’s also the additional costs of purchase such as stamp duty, extra mortgage and furnishing costs that need to be met.
“Many couples have to put off moving, and accept they might to have to raise a family in cramped conditions and in areas not necessarily suited to bringing up children. Inevitably, relocation becomes a topic of conversation around the dinner table, but this is not always an option if work or family commitments mean they have to stay local or face horrendous commuter journeys.”
The east of England came out as the most affordable region of the country for second stepper couples, with Norwich and Ipswich featuring in the top three places for most affordable second stepper towns or cities. The average percentage price difference between a terraced/semi-detached house compared to a flat in Norwich and Ipswich is 18.4% and 19.5% respectively.
This compares with Edinburgh, which came out as being the least affordable place in the UK for second steppers based on the percentage difference between the price of a house versus a flat. Couples in Edinburgh looking to buy their first family home face a mammoth 124.7% extra or £180,285 more to purchase an average terraced/semi-detached house (£324,874), compared to a one to two bedroom flat (£144,589). With the average salary in Edinburgh around £31,040, that extra cost to step up is 581% more than the average wage.
Predictably, London is the least affordable city when you look at the actual amount of money required to jump from the first rung to the second rung of the ladder, with couples facing the prospect of having to find an extra £463,580 to move from a flat to their first house. That’s a staggering 1079% of the annual central London salary of £42,970, which explains why many couples have to move out of the capital to second step.
Placebuzz.com figures reveal that Scotland actually has the two least affordable places for second steppers, with Edinburgh closely followed by Dundee, where couples looking to buy their first family home are looking at an average additional cost of £79,089 to do so. Aberdeen and Glasgow also feature high up on the list, with average second steps of £101,718 and £53,040 respectively.