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 £88,000. If you’re looking for something a little more rural, then this beautiful two bedroom semi-detached home in the small village of Kimbleworth boasts plenty of space both inside and outside will set you back at just £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, you can purchase a two-bedroom semi-detached home, fully modernised throughout, with a driveway for just £90,000.

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, this three-bedroom 1930s property for £105,000 in the suburb of Bentley could be the perfect choice. It comes with a fantastic amount of space including two large bedrooms, a smaller bedroom / study, a big lounge and a separate kitchen/diner. There’s also an outhouse building with two storage areas and a garage!

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. This three-bedroom family home in Everton is up for sale for £130,000. It’s also worth checking out the properties situated a little further away from the urban region of Liverpool and into suburbs such as Sefton. This area is a fantastic choice for second steppers as it offers value for money and amazing transport links around the North West. This immaculate three-bedroom home features large gardens, a spacious interior, a garage and is fully modernised throughout. You can even get a four bedroom semi-detached house for £115,000 if you search around areas such as Kirkby. If you’re looking for even more space then this five bedroom home just outside of Liverpool city centre is going for around the £140,000 mark.

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. This two-bedroom semi-detached home in Battersea, for example, features built-in storage throughout the house, a rear courtyard/patio garden and potential to build a roof terrace. In East London, within walking distance of Westfield Shopping Centre, you can bag a three-bedroom home for £650,000 including a great-sized grass lawn to the rear. If you’re looking for space, then this four bedroom detached house is still within the price range for the average budget of a second stepper in London. It comes with a separate garage, outhouse and summer house, as well as four bedrooms and a separate study. However, if you want to be closer to central London then look no further than this three bedroom detached house in Hackney. It’s just 20 minutes on the train to King’s Cross and a five minute walk to the London Fields.

Price difference: £343,134

St Albans

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, this four bedroom detached property at £500,000 is located in a prestigious area with security gates. The house was converted from stables, with an extension added for even more space. If you’re considering your next move because you want to start a family then this three bedroom house also comes with a large playroom and a beautiful garden. However, if you’re looking for a charming period property then this two bedroom terraced home is situated in the heart of St Albans could be just the ticket. The property is beautifully decorated throughout and retains some of the original features such as a Victorian stove and original brickwork.

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! You could opt for this three bedroom semi-detached house with a stunning layout including open-plan living, a galley kitchen, great-sized bedrooms and gorgeous front and back gardens. If you’d prefer something more urban, then this period two-bed terraced house could be ideal. If you’re looking to upsize to an exceptionally bigger home than your first property, then this three-bedroom semi could be a good choice. It features two large reception rooms, a lean-to conservatory, a utility room, kitchen, entrance hall, a family bathroom and a second WC.   

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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