UK homeowners spent almost £10bn moving house in 2017

Michael Lloyd

January 10, 2018

UK homeowners spent £9.7bn on moving house in 2017, with the average UK homeowner facing £9,580 in additional moving costs.

Removal company comparison website Compare My Move fed UK housing data through its cost of moving house calculator to uncover hidden costs of moving.

This includes conveyancing, surveying and estate agent fees, stamp duty, removal costs and fixed fees such as an energy performance certificate.

A spokeswoman for Compare My Move said: “When it comes to buying or selling a house, the last thing you need are unexpected extra costs.

“Clarity on costs is key, and knowing exactly how much you need to save can help keep your dream house from becoming a nightmare.

“We designed and released a free cost of moving house calculator for this very reason: to ensure prospective homeowners are fully informed every step of the way.”

After Chancellor Philip Hammond cut stamp duty for first-time buyers under properties costing £300,000, the extra costs for moving into a first house has generally been levelled across the UK.

The exception is London, where the average cost of a first house is higher than the £300,000 stamp duty threshold, meaning a substantial £7,765 bill for movers in 2017.

With the stamp duty changes, many first-time buyers in the UK were in a better position at the end of 2017 than the start of last year. But in 2017 they had to pay on average £1,561 in extra costs to move in 2017.

The spokeswoman added: “It can be particularly daunting for first time buyers, with many saving for years to get their first foot on the property ladder.

“For them especially, thousands of pounds in unexpected extra costs can be incredibly stressful. And as our figures show, recent stamp duty changes haven’t helped first-time buyers across every region, meaning it’s as important as ever to be fully aware of extra costs.

“There are many ways to reduce costs, including performing conveyancing yourself, and using price comparison websites to compare and save on removal and surveying costs.

“But most of all it’s best to get informed by using tools such as our calculator. So get researching, get saving, get planning, and get comparing.”

The cheapest region for first-time buyers in 2017 was Scotland, with the cost of moving at £1,331 in 2017.

The best regions for first-time buyers were expensive regions such as South East of England, where the extra costs of moving for them were cut by 64% to £1,606 on account of the change.

Because of the low house prices in Scotland and North East England, the stamp duty cut made no changes to the costs of moving house.

In contrast, the North West saw a £1,636 reduction in costs because of the cut in stamp duty, bringing the moving costs level with the North East at £1,531.

The average cost of buying and selling a property in London tops the regions, costing existing homeowners a massive £28,714 in extra costs in 2017.

As a comparison, the average homeowner in England spent £10,465 to move house last year.

The average moving costs in Scotland and Wales were less, but still an extra £6,032 and £6,246 respectively.

The cheapest area to move house in 2017 was North East England, with house owners spending an extra £5,058 to move house.

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