ALMOST a third of buyers moving from their first home find it harder to move up the property ladder than to get on, new research has found.

The study from Lloyds Bank also reveals that 35 per cent of potential second steppers feel it will be harder to sell their property than it would have been a year ago.

On average, second steppers have been in their first property for three and a half years, and expect to wait another 18 months before moving up the ladder.

Second steppers now intend to stay in their second property for around five years, with 27 per cent not planning to move again. However, 59 per cent still think they will own either one or two more properties in their lifetime before reaching their dream home.

Meanwhile, another 27 per cent of potential second steppers are considering staying put to undertake home improvements in case they can’t sell their property within their desired timescale.

Second steppers are increasingly having to compromise on personal circumstances, with 28 per cent of respondents saying they plan to have fewer children than originally expected -- more than double since 2016 when it was 12 per cent.

“When considering their next property purchase, second steppers typically look for more space, a better location and a garden,” said Andrew Mason, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank.

The research also found that 82 per cent of second steppers are married couples looking for more space. It found 52 per cent would like their long-term home to be a detached house, while 37 per cent would like to buy a period property and 36 per cent a new-build dwelling.

Some 80 per cent of second steppers want their dream home to have three or more bedrooms and the most popular feature considered ‘must-haves’ is a driveway at 48 per cent, a garden at 44 per cent, a kitchen/diner at 32 per cent and a garage also at 32 per cent.