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The quiet struggle of purchasing your second home

While buying a flat may seem like a great idea for getting a foot on the property ladder, many first-time owners who are looking to upgrade to a house are finding the experience harder than expected.

property-marketWe often hear about the difficulty first-time buyers have in buying their first home – the struggle of raising funds for a deposit; the fears of not qualifying for the necessary mortgage loan; and the stress of qualifying for affordable interest rates. For many first-time buyers in city central locations, the answer is simple – buy a flat. Generally more affordable and easier to maintain, flats have often been used by buyers as a way to escape the rent-trap, but with many young couples looking to start a family, the average flat soon becomes decidedly small.

Of course, the simple answer to the issue is to move to a larger property – maybe a house with a garden so the kids have somewhere to play on a hot summer’s day – but as many flat-owners are beginning to find out, the switch may not be as easy as they thought.

New research by uSwitch.com (the comparison service) has found that those who bought a flat as a first-time buyer are at a distinct disadvantage versus those who chose a house.


Over the past decade, uSwitch has found out that whereas the average house has increased by 20% in value, the average flat has only risen by 15%, creating an affordability margin that is simply too wide to overcome for those without the necessary funds. With property buying experts noting that certain areas of the UK are experiencing a margin of 16% between the values of houses and flats, it is clear that many flat-owners are not benefiting from their investment as much as they thought they would.

“Second steppers have been lulled into a false sense of security by rising house prices,” said Tashema Jackson of uSwitch.

“In some parts of the country, houses have far outstripped flats in price, so if you are looking to move up the property ladder you need to carefully plot your next steps.”

It isn’t just flats that are failing to provide a decent investment return either, with shared ownership properties also coming up short despite requiring very little input of equity from the buyer. For those who managed to buy a house as their first home, the future is a little rosier, and the ability to move up the property ladder is a little easier – especially if they are in need of a fast house sale. With property buying companies offering to purchase homes for cash directly without the hassle of dealing with estate agents, many are finding the purchase of their second home a more straightforward affair.

Need to sell your house fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property


Homebuyer Man is the public face of National Homebuyers’ expert property team, keeping up to date with all the latest industry news, property trends and market information.

Homebuyer Man’s experience in the property market is unmatched, providing expert information and exclusive insight on all things property, whether that be mortgage advice or drilling down into the best times to buy and sell in different areas across the UK. With more than 15 years’ experience, there isn’t much Homebuyer Man doesn’t know when it comes to the property market.

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