Cost of moving reaches record high

Michael Lloyd

December 15, 2017

The cost of moving house is the most expensive it’s ever been with the average cost of moving at £7,356, comparison site reallymoving.com has found. 

Even when adjusted for inflation the average cost of moving in 2017 is the highest it’s been since 2010, marking this third consecutive year it has increased.

Rob Houghton, chief executive, of reallymoving.com said: “Increases in fees for services and, in particular, for stamp duty has seen total cost of moving rise to the point where a single move costs nearly a third of the median annual salary.

“While there is no simple fix, there are a number of measures that consumers can take to manage the condition.  Buyers can reduce the cost by shopping around, using well-priced and well-reviewed conveyancers, surveyors, removers, and estate agents.”

44% of the total cost of moving is made up of estate agent fees, representing on average, £3,254 of the £7,356 total moving cost. With the average estate agent charging 1.2% of the house price, rates as a percentage of the price are at an all-time low.

However, while estate agent rates might be falling, the 28% increase in average house prices means that estate agent fees remain similar in absolute terms.

This rise in house prices has also affected stamp duty, the second largest contributor to moving costs (27%). In 2017, the median property value would result in a stamp duty fee of £2,019. This is compared to £1,814 in 2007.

Due to the economic crisis in 2009, the basic stamp duty threshold was increased to £175,000, higher than the median UK house price that year.

This meant that for over half the property transactions during 2009, no stamp duty was paid, significantly reducing the average cost of moving. With the recent increase in property prices, stamp duty fees have risen significantly.

While the Chancellor cut stamp duty for first-time buyers in the recent Budget, this will affect a relatively small portion of the market.

While stamp duty and estate agent fees make up the majority of costs, other, less prominent expenses, can cost a lot too.

Removal costs, the third most significant expense, cost £380 on average and the prices haven’t changed dramatically over the last decade.

Moving costs can vary dramatically, depending on the distance of the move and the volume of possessions transported.

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