Second steppers on the front foot

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Jo McDonagh, Sales Director of Shanly Homes Southern

Jo McDonagh, Sales Director of Shanly Homes Southern, talks about what second-steppers are looking for from their new build home (and it’s more than just a house)

More than three months after the date Britain had intended to leave the European Union, Parliament is still to reach a consensus on a Withdrawal Agreement for the country’s exit. Indeed, the outcome of these negotiations is no clearer than it was a year ago. Despite this backdrop of uncertainty at Westminster, we wouldn’t say that the new homes market in Surrey and West Sussex has stalled as a result. In fact, we are finding that buyers have become tired of waiting and are now moving on with their lives.

We have seen this first hand among our schemes that are particularly popular with families. These buyers are keen to upsize to a bigger home to accommodate their growing family.

Having bought their first property some time ago, the second-steppers we see often have a clear idea of what they want and are buying for the long term. Brexit, if anything, has made these buyers more discerning.

Upon deciding to move, today’s second-steppers like to act swiftly and we have seen a growing number of purchasers in the region choose a new build home to avoid being caught in vast chains as a result of the slower second-hand property market.

Indeed, the new build market in the region has seen a resurgence. Up-sizers in the area are drawn to the high specification, modern, open plan interiors of a new home. Adding to this so many families lead such busy lives nowadays and like the ease and freedom that a low maintenance new build home has to offer.

New, characterful properties that provide a flexible, high quality, blank canvas that can be customised according to taste, are increasingly being purchased in favour of homes that require extensive renovation.

These have been key selling points at our Great Oaks scheme in Bookham, Surrey. This collection of three and four-bedroom houses in a gated community, offers homes with flexible living areas. Potential buyers often comment on the large kitchen areas leading out to rear gardens and the shaker-style family kitchens, complete with appliances.

Lifestyle is also integral to second-steppers. Being on the doorstep of an attractive village like Bookham with a strong community, open space and family-run shops and amenities such as a butcher is highly sought-after, especially when there is a train station nearby offering easy access into London, offering the best of both worlds.

Local amenities, including excellent schools nearby and infrastructure are certainly key factors driving purchasing decisions in the region. For example, some of the enquiries we receive at our Clock Field development in Turners Hill, West Sussex, are driven by its ideal location; just a three-minute walk from Turners Hill CofE Primary School, which was rated ‘outstanding’ in the recent Ofsted report. The development also offers significant choice for families, with three, four and five-bedroom homes available.

The next step on the ladder for second-steppers is an important one and will often help to shape the future of their family for years to come, which is why we take such pride in providing superior homes that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

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