Reallymoving: Cost of moving home up 71%

Jake Carter

October 26, 2021

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The cost of moving home has risen from £6,877 before the end of the main stamp duty holiday to a record high of £11,777, according to research from Reallymoving.

The largest expense for home movers who are both buying and selling is once again stamp duty, which has risen from £0 based on the average purchase price in England of £349,500, to £5,000.

Estate agent fees were found to be the next highest cost at £3,965, followed by legal fees at £1,650, although both have dipped since the end of the tax holiday, down 1% and 4% respectively.

Other costs have continued to climb, however, with the price of a survey rising to £507, up 1.4%, and removals rising to £600, up 2.6%, on average.

The cost of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has remained unchanged at £55.

In London, existing homeowners have seen the cost of moving almost double, up 94%, from £12,917 to £25,096 since the end of June.

First-time buyers (FTBs) in the capital now need £7,195 compared to £2,435 during the stamp duty holiday, an increase of 195%.

By comparison, less expensive regions in the North either pay minimal or no stamp duty, based on the median purchase price, resulting in only moderate increases in the cost of moving.

Existing homeowners in the North East have seen the cost of moving fall from £4,778 to £4,500 due to a dip in estate agency and conveyancing fees.

Those buying and selling a home in Wales have seen costs rise by 96% since 30 June, from £5,833 to £11,438, with increases in estate agency fees (26%) and removals (25%) on top of Land Transaction Tax bills of £4,700 based on the median property price.

Homeowners in Scotland have seen a 47% rise in costs, driven by the return of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBBT) on top of a 6% rise in estate agency fees and a 3% rise in legal fees.

While London’s FTBs have seen the biggest increases of all, those across the rest of the UK have seen relative stability in the cost of moving.

The average cost of moving for a FTB in England dropped by 1% after 30 June due to a fall in conveyancing costs as demand fell, reducing pressure on the sector.

The research by Reallymoving also showed that FTBs in the East and West Midlands and the East of England have seen the cost of moving fall further, by 2%, 3% and 2% respectively.

FTBs in Wales have seen the cost of moving stay the same at £1,90,8, while in Scotland costs have increased by 7%, largely due to a rise in average removals prices from £300 to £365.

Rob Houghton, chief executive of Reallymoving, said: “The cost of moving home is at a record high and movers have had to absorb a huge hike in up-front costs since the main stamp duty holiday ended on 30 June.

“These rises have been felt most in London, with movers in the capital having to find over £25,000, and over £7,000 for FTBs, which is a significant challenge on top of raising a deposit.

“We saw an increase in conveyancing and removals costs in England during the stamp duty holiday due to exceptional levels of demand, but conveyancing costs have dropped slightly since the end of June as pressure on the system has eased.

“FTBs will be relieved to be once again the only group to benefit from stamp duty exemptions on lower cost homes, reducing competition from other buyers.

“The cost of moving for FTBs in England is high, at over £2,000, but the good news is that expenses have remained relatively stable, making it easier to plan a move.

“The property market remains buoyant with strong competition for homes, so it’s more important than ever to compare ratings and customer reviews when searching for home move services, as well as price, to ensure that when you do decide to buy, your transaction progresses as smoothly as possible.”

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