Second steppers: Where are the best places to move up the property ladder?

Online estate agents Housesimple, looked into the latest Land Registry data on “second steppers.” This is the group of people who are looking to make their second move on the property ladder. Housesimple discovered that buyers would need an average of £75,388 to move from a flat to a terraced or semi-detached house. 

Sam Mitchell, CEO of Housesimple, comments: “While we’re seeing a positive trend with more first-time buyers getting onto the property ladder, Second Steppers – primarily those upsizing from a flat to a terraced or semi-detached house – still face a major jump to transition from a starter home to their family home.” 

The average price of semi-detached second stepper home is £247,710 compared to £163,892 a decade ago. We’ve taken some of the least expensive second stepper areas and most expensive second stepper areas and looked at what you can get for your money. For each area, we’ve also shown the average price difference between a flat and a house!

Lowest cost locations for second steppers


If you’re looking for the very best price for a semi-detached home then Durham is the place to be. You can upgrade to a three bedroom semi-detached home with front and back gardens, a conservatory and a garage for around £90,000. If you’re looking for something a little more rural, then the small village of Kimbleworth will get you a lot for £90,000. However, if you’re looking to move closer to the city of Durham then you’re not short of choice here either. For example, two-bedroom semi-detached homes, fully modernised throughout, with a driveway go for just £90,000 too.

Price difference: £23,318


The average price for a semi-detached house in Doncaster sits at around the £110,000 mark. For this price, it seems there’s no shortage of three bedroom homes! You can get a super contemporary three-bedroom semi-detached with three bathrooms and a large garden for £110,000 to £120,000. Perhaps you’re looking for a traditional property closer to Doncaster centre. In that case, there are several character properties available for around £105,000 in the suburb of Bentley. The 1930s houses usually contain extra storage areas such as original outhouse buildings and garages! 

Price difference: £29,297


Second steppers pay, on average, £141,553 for their next property – that’s a lot of money to play with in and around the city of Liverpool! You can buy a house that’s within walking distance of Liverpool city centre for less than £140,000. Fully renovated family homes are available for around £130,000. It’s also worth checking out the properties situated a little further away from the urban region of Liverpool and into the Merseyside suburbs such as Sefton to the North and the Wirral to the south.

Price difference: £31,011

Highest cost locations for second steppers


It’s no surprise that London is one of the most expensive places for second steppers. The average price for a house in the capital is £770,331. Fortunately, there are many options in the price range in some sought-after areas. From two-bedroom semi-detached properties in Battersea and three-bed homes in Hammersmith, proving that West London and South West London is a popular choice for second steppers. However, if you want to be closer to central London then Hackney may be the best choice. 

Price difference: £343,134

St Albans

St Albans was actually named as one of the happiest places to live in the UK! The average going price for a house in St Albans is £513,390, but you do seem to get a lot for your money in most cases. For example, a four bedroom detached property can easily go for £500,000 if it’s located in a particularly prestigious area. However, if you’re looking for a charming period property then there are some fabulous two bedroom character properties right in the heart of St Albans.

Price difference: £218,538


With a £476,955 average house price, Cambridge is the third most expensive place to move up the property ladder. However, that doesn’t mean you can get a lot of value for your money in terms of location and space! Choose from spacious three-bedroom homes, picturesque two-bed cottages and much more. Cambridge really is a place that caters for all lifestyles including families, older people, young couples, single people and more. 

Price difference: £145,381

Looking to make the next step on the property ladder? Make sure you instruct a reliable conveyancing specialist to help you with completion:

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