Expert comment by John Elliott, Managing Director of Millwood Designer Homes:

Getting on the property ladder as a first-time buyer is undoubtedly a challenge, however it seems in the current housing market, moving up is proving even harder. Whilst I welcome the good news about the abolishment of the stamp duty land tax for first time buyers in the Chancellor’s recent Autumn Budget, the moving costs are still considerable if you include stamp duty payments; half (52 per cent) of those who planned to move up the property ladder in the last year were not able to do so, according to Lloyds Banking Group.

It is clear that in recent years, people are moving house less frequently and an increasing number of homebuyers are keen to reduce the number of moves they make. This continues to have a profound impact on the entire property market. It seems buyers looking to make the leap as ‘second steppers’ are now looking to future-proof and find their ‘forever home’, in order to ultimately save on the amount of moving costs made over a lifetime.

For many, the prospect of getting on or moving up the property ladder has become rather daunting, however it need not be. The idea of a ladder implies a move upwards, and home ownership should ideally come with a sense of financial security and belonging. Over a decade ago, the average first-time buyer moved up the ladder approximately six years after buying their first property. We urgently need this steady flow to continue in order to stimulate and keep the market active. It is necessary to support all segments of the property chain, in order to help buyers move on to and progress up the ladder.

Although challenges certainly remain for second steppers, the steady rise in property value, specifically in Kent and Sussex, should ensure local homebuyers remain confident investing in a new home. Although a common misconception is that Help to Buy is only for first time buyers, second steppers can and should also be taking advantage of the popular scheme. We have seen second steppers at Woodlands View in Hastings use this scheme to their advantage and we are currently offering Help to Buy at a number of our other new homes developments. At Millwood, we aim to support our customers and have seen a number of purchaser’s future proof their ‘forever’ home through Help to Buy, by securing more space for their money, catering to their family’s current and future needs.

For more information on our new homes developments and where Help to Buy is available, please visit