Cost of moving soars to £9,500

Moving house

Some 65% of would-be buyers typically expect the cost of moving house to be almost £2,000 less than it actually is, according to new research by the Post Office.

While, on average, a buyer will put aside £7,643 to cover the cost of moving house, in reality the average spend is £9,472 when you factor in costs such as stamp duty, estate agent’s and surveyor’s fees, plus conveyancing and removal costs.

The Cost of Buying & Moving study, compiled by Post Office Money and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, found that the cost of moving has risen by 8% over the past year and by 25% in 10 years. This means that moving costs increased from £7,590 by the end of 2006 to £9,472 10 years later.

The research points out that the figure would have been even higher but for the removal of the stamp duty land tax ‘slab’ system, which meant the typical stamp duty bill fell from £4,227 at the end of 2014 to £1,774 two years later.

The biggest hike in fees has come from surveyors – this has risen by 53% in 10 years, from £498 to £764.

Moving costs come on top of a typical deposit of £94,200, with first-time buyers paying £50,136 on average.

Home movers in London and the South East will feel the pinch because of the higher costs of properties and knock-on effect of stamp duty fees. In the South East, moving costs have risen by a whopping 72% – from £8,809 in 2006 to £15,114 in 2016. But it is buyers in the capital who are the hardest hit facing moving costs of £26,673 – far in excess of the £8,838 they told researchers they budget for.

What is more, Post Office Money warns that the cost of moving could rise, on average, to £12,267 by the end of 2020.

Owen Woodley, managing director at Post Office Money, says: “Forecasts indicate the cost of buying and moving will only continue to rise over the next five years, even with the impact of revised stamp duty rules introduced to reduce the impact on prospective buyers’ wallets. With research indicating that 65% of these buyers have underestimated how much they should budget for these costs, careful and considered budgeting is essential at a time when they are already likely to be financially stretched.”

Breakdown of additional costs of moving, and how they have changed between 2006 and 2016

Cost of moving 2006 2016 % increase
Stamp duty £1,734 £1,774 2%
Estate agent £3,279 £4,310 31%
Surveyor £498 £764 53%
Conveyancing £1,138 £1,558 37%
Removals £942 £1,065 13%
TOTAL £7,590 £9,472 25%