There's no denying that getting that first foothold on the housing ladder is a difficult task, but unfortunately, that may only be half the battle. Indeed, research from Lloyds Bank has revealed that taking the next steps towards the ideal home can take far longer than many people think, yet happily, homeowners are beginning to be more optimistic about the whole thing.
For many, the first home is just a stepping stone to the ones that follow, with the long-term family home often being several years (or even decades) down the line. Indeed, the figures show that 81% believe they'll now have to wait longer to reach their forever home than they would have a decade ago, highlighting the pressures many homeowners are under.
However, in slightly better news, that figure has been steadily falling since 2012 when it stood at 88%, so although the majority of homeowners are still resigned to the fact that they'll be waiting a while, at least the picture is slightly improving. Similarly, while 41% of respondents believe that the uncertain housing market has had an impact on housing aspirations, this is also down from 53% who said the same in 2012 – and 74% now believe that they will achieve their long-term family home in no more than two more moves.
Despite the rise in confidence, there are still clear challenges for would-be movers to contend with. Indeed, 33% of respondents said they expected to be further along the housing ladder than they currently are, particularly first-time buyers (43%). By comparison, only 20% of those on their fourth move or more felt they were not where they had expected to be on the housing ladder.
"There's still a perception amongst a large number of homeowners that their long-term aspirational home seems far off and they are not moving up the housing ladder as quickly as they had hoped, although this perception has been gradually improving over the last few years," commented Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage products director.
"Those who are further up the property ladder appear to be more satisfied with their progression, whereas those who are just starting out may feel that they have a mountain to climb before they reach their long-term home. Despite that, first-time buyers are in a slightly better position to move than they were a year ago and are the group most likely to be on the move."
Reaching your goals
While it undoubtedly remains difficult to make further moves – it can be tricky enough to find a home that meets your expectations and budget, not to mention the fact that moving itself is an incredibly costly business –there are things you can do to help reach your goal.
As with so many things, the first step should always be saving as much as possible. This can ensure you've got the funds available to cover the upfront costs associated with moving (such as legal fees, mortgage fees and removal vans), and it could even give you a valuable boost to your next deposit if your ideal next home is slightly over budget.
Then it all comes down to finding the right mortgage – which will in itself depend on the type of property you're after. Three-bedroom homes are the most popular choice for a long-term home (40%) with the average price of such a property standing at £222,745, and the amount of money you'll be able to use as a deposit will have a huge impact on your resulting mortgage rate.
But, if such a move seems too far off, don't be disheartened: more than half of respondents had been in their current property for more than a decade, with the average standing at 7.7 years (6.9 years for first-time buyers, 8.1 for second steppers, 7.9 for third steppers and 8.2 years for fourth steppers), so even if you've been in your current home for a few years, you'll make the jump eventually!
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