Article image New market insight from house builder Crest Nicholson suggests that a large proportion of second-time buyers in Worcestershire are unaware of how the government’s Help to Buy scheme could assist with their next step up the property ladder. Across the company’s developments in the Midlands only 17 per cent of people using the scheme are second steppers which means many could be missing out on their dream home.

With the average second stepper now confined to their starter home for 14 years after purchase, a recent report  has revealed that it is not just first time buyers who struggle to ascend the property ladder. Many aspiring second-time buyers bought their first home at the height of the property boom, but with the average deposit now hitting £64,000 , they have since been trapped by a lack of equity, creating a bottleneck at the bottom of the ladder and stifling the wider market.

Whilst former schemes intended to stimulate the housing market focused exclusively on assisting first-time buyers, Help to Buy is available to second steppers too. 

Requiring just a five per cent deposit on a property, a 75 per cent mortgage and a 20 per cent government loan on new build homes worth up to £600,000, the finances necessary to ascend the property ladder with the scheme are instantly more affordable. Simultaneously, Help to Buy also has an impact on the types of properties that second steppers can aspire to live in. Whilst a minimal move from a one bedroom flat to a small two bedroom house might previously have constituted a second step, the initiative has made three and four-bedroom forever family homes in desirable locations a viable purchase.

At St James Mead in Badsey, for example, the The Meadvale is on the market for £223,960 with Help to Buy. With a full market value of £279,950, the scheme alleviates the difficulty of having to raise the extra 20 per cent, without jeopardising the ability to accrue equity.

The Meadvale boasts a large, triple aspect living room with French doors opening out onto the garden.  Also on the ground floor is a separate study, which has the potential to be adapted into a play room, and the kitchen/breakfast room offers a second route to the garden with French doors helping to create an alfresco feel to dining.

Located on the first floor of the Meadvale are the sleeping quarters, where you’ll find the main bedroom with its own en-suite, a family bathroom and two further spacious bedrooms. There is also a fourth bedroom ideal for children, a guest room or even a walk in wardrobe for those who live for luxury!

Amanda Benjamin, Senior Sales Manager at Crest Nicholson, explained: “Whilst first-time buyers have taken full advantage of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, it seems that very few second-time buyers are aware of how it can assist them too. There have been numerous reports outlining how people are putting their plans to start a family on hold because their homes are too small, but Help to Buy can help them to upsize into a property that is designed for either a growing or established family.

“Currently, Help to Buy is only available on new build properties, which offers potential second-time buyers a head start from the rest of the second-hand market. When the second phase of Help to Buy launches at the start of 2014, the phase is expected to be inundated with applications. Whilst the government funding amounts to £12billion, the pot isn’t limitless and there is a chance that it will run out before its three year expiration period.

“Furthermore, phase two of Help to Buy is forecast to create unparalleled demand for homes, in turn driving up property prices, so we would recommend house buyers who are thinking of using the scheme to discuss their options with a financial advisor sooner rather than later so that they have a greater choice when it comes to choosing their property.”

Four bedroom homes at St James Mead are currently available from £279,950 or £223,960 with Help to Buy. For further details, please contact the sales and marketing suite on 0845 894 3246 / 01386 833 665, email or visit