Around 28 per cent of second-time buyers could be stuck on the first rung of the property ladder because they are in negative equity or their home hasn't increased enough in value for them to buy their second home, according to research from Post Office.
Costs involved in moving are also hitting second-steppers who now need an average of £7,279 to cover costs including stamp duty and solicitor's fees, a total that rises to £12,313 for people living in London.
One in 12 of second-time buyers are relying on their parents or other family members for financial help, while seven per cent hope an inheritance will help fund their next purchase.
John Willcock, Head of Mortgages at Post Office, said: "We are often reminded of first-time buyers' struggle to get onto the property ladder. However, it's clear that second-time buyers are finding it difficult too. Stagnant or decreasing property prices in many areas of the country, the high costs involved with moving and lack of available properties on the market have meant too many people are unable to move up the property ladder.
"Relying on the bank of mum and dad is not just the preserve of first-time buyers. Second-time buyers are also looking to their parents to fund the move up the ladder. In the years before the financial crisis it was almost guaranteed your property would go up in value enough to move into a second, larger home, but many are finding that their homes just aren't increasing enough."
A third of second-time buyers said the next time they move they will research a new area more thoroughly before buying. A quarter said they would not buy a property that requires renovation.