How much does it cost to move home?
Moving house can be a momentous occasion, marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter, and yet, it can also be a stressful one if you fail to account for every cost involved.
Nobody likes to be hit by an unexpected bill, but with our handy guide on your side, you’ll be fully aware of every fee, charge and cost home movers typically have to pay.
The cost of moving house in 2019
So, how much does it actually cost to move house? Well, based on the average UK property price of £226,071 (UK House Price Index), the cost of moving house has been estimated at £8,885.66.
This figure comprises the fees associated with buying, selling and moving home, and has been summarised below:
Summary of buying costs
Summary of selling costs
Summary of moving costs
While costs such as postal redirection are fixed, the majority of these fees will vary depending on the size and value of the property, as well as other individual circumstances or requirements. As such, this figure should only be considered a rough benchmark.
Next, we’re going to be expanding on each of these sections in more depth, explain what each process involves and how the cost varies by property:
The cost of buying a new property
Putting down a deposit when you get a mortgage is a given in most cases. This tends to be around 10% of the property’s value (although this varies based on the property and your circumstances) and is paid to your solicitor when you exchange contracts.
But don’t forget the other costs...
Stamp Duty in England and Northern Ireland
Stamp Duty Land Tax (STLD) must be paid if you’re purchasing a property over the value of £125,000 in England and Northern Ireland. It must be paid to HMRC within 30 days of completion and is usually carried out by a solicitor.
There are five different SDLT tax bands based on the purchase price of the property:
|Property purchase price||Stamp Duty rate||Amount payable|
|£125,000 - £250,000||2%||£0 - £2,500|
|£250,000 - £925,000||5%||£2,500 - £36,250|
|£925,000 - £1,500,000||10%||£36,250 - £93,750|
When you buy a property, you are only required to pay the rate that corresponds with that segment of the purchase price.
For example, if you were to buy a property for £245,000 you’d pay 0% on the value of the property up to £125,000 and 2% on the property value between £125,000 - £245,000. In this situation, total liability for Stamp Duty would be £2,400.
Stamp Duty in Wales and Scotland
In Wales, Land Transaction Tax (LTT) has replaced Stamp Duty. While the two effectively function in the same way, the lower threshold for LTT is £180,000 (compared to SDLT’s £125,000).
In Scotland, homeowners pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which again works in the same way but is applicable to all properties over the value of £145,000.
Property surveys help identify any issues in a prospective house purchase and are often required if you are buying with a mortgage in the UK.
There are four types of home surveys offered by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors:
|Property survey||What’s included?||Cost|
|Condition Report||Basic survey which gives a traffic light rating for the property as a whole.
Valuation report may be included.
|HomeBuyer Report||A more in-depth surveillance, but furniture will not be moved and walls and floorboards not examined.
Valuation report not usually included.
|Home Condition Survey||1-3 rating system to highlight the most severe issues.
Advice sheets on how to combat issues may be included.
Valuation report may be included.
|£400 - £500|
|Building Survey||Surveyors will look behind furniture and for hidden defects behind walls and under floorboards.
Advice sheets on how to deal with identified issues included.
Valuation report included.
If you’re buying with a mortgage, your provider will require you to have a house valuation to prove you’re paying the correct amount. If you received a valuation as part of a property survey you will not need an additional valuation.
Some mortgage providers offer free valuations as part of your package, but if not, you will be required to pay a fee. This is determined by the value of the property:
|Purchase price||Valuation fee|
|£75,001 - £100,000||£137|
|£100,001 - £150,000||£149|
|£150,001 - £200,000||£173|
|£200,001 - £250,000||£197|
|£250,001 - £300,000||£227|
|£300,001 - £400,000||£263|
|£400,001 - £500,000||£281|
|£500,001 - £600,000||£365|
When you purchase a property, a solicitor is responsible for handling contracts, liaising with the seller’s solicitors, giving legal advice, carrying out searches and processing payments.
For your average UK home, expect to pay around £950 to your solicitor. While some fees are fixed, others vary, so use this figure as a benchmark only. The three main associated costs are:
Average cost for a UK property = £430
The cost of conveyancing varies not only between solicitors, but also the value of the property. You should expect to pay more if you’re buying leasehold, as there is more legal paperwork involved:
|Property value||Average cost for freehold||Average cost for leasehold|
|Up to £125,000||£415||£750|
|£125,000 - £250,000||£430||£750|
|£250,000 - £375,000||£460||£785|
|£375,000 - £500,000||£495||£810|
|£500,000 - £750,000||£665||£920|
|£750,000 - £1,000,000||£940||£1,060|
|£1,000,000 - £1,250,000||£1,390||£1,500|
|£1,250,000 - £1,500,000||£1,425||£1,555|
Set fee for any UK property = £250
Throughout the mortgage process, your solicitor will carry out a number of searches with the local authorities and other professional bodies. This is often to identify any planning permission or restrictions in the area that may affect the sale.
Land Registry fees
Average cost for a UK property = £270
A solicitor will be responsible for keeping official documents in the Land Registry up to date. The cost will vary depending on the type and value of your property, ranging from £40 to £910.
The cost of selling a property
Selling your home can be pricey, most of which is attributable to estate agent fees to market your property to potential buyers. But there are also a couple more fees to think about.
Estate agent fees
The main role of estate agents is to market your property to prospective buyers and bag a sale. Many will also carry out viewings and act as the middleman between you and potential buyers during negotiations.
Average estate agency fees
High-street estate agents tend to charge between 1% - 2.5% of the final property price:
|Property value||1% fee||1.5% fee||2% fee||2.5% fee|
When selling a property, your solicitor is responsible for handling contracts, liasing with the buyer’s solicitors, giving you legal advice and processing payments.
For your average UK home, expect to pay around £580 in solicitor fees. This is based on £450 conveyancing, £100 VAT, plus a set fee of £30 in additional fees (bank transfer).
The cost of conveyancing may vary slightly depending on your solicitor but is generally determined based on the sale price of the property. The VAT is charged retrospectively of this:
|Sale price||Legal fees||Extra fees||VAT||Total|
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Every property for sale on the market has to be on the EPC register. This certificate discloses the energy efficiency rating and whether it could be improved, based on the local area and property type. An EPC costs between £60 - £120 depending on what your local assessor charges.
Property survey (Scotland only)
While home surveys are usually carried out by the buyer, in Scotland the seller is required by law to undertake a Home Report before a sale can be made. A Home Report costs between £350 - £400 for your average Scottish home.
The cost of moving from an old to a new property
As well as the fees associated with buying and selling a property, don’t forget to factor in the cost of the actual move.
According to Compare My Move, the cost of a removal company ranges between £264 and £1,680 (depending on how many belongings you have), plus an additional £1 per mile (approx.) that you are travelling.
For example, moving your belongings from an average sized three-bed house to a new destination 50 miles away will cost approximately £1,180. Of course, this is only a rough figure so you should get in touch with a removal service for an exact quote.
Mail redirection costs between £31.99 - £62.99, depending on how long you want the service to run for. It’s an important but sometimes overlooked step to ensure any important documents you receive through the post are diverted to your new address.
Royal Mail redirection service prices
|Up to 3 months||£31.99|
|Up to 6 months||£43.99|
|Up to 12 months||£62.99|
Other circumstances that could impact the cost of moving home
We’ve totted up the cost of the key legal requirements associated with buying and selling a property, plus the practical fees associated with moving efficiently. But what other factors might impact how much you fork out when moving house?
First time buyers
While securing a home as a first time buyer may be tricky, the actual move should be cheaper than average. Selling fees are the most costly part of the moving process, and they are not applicable to first time buyers.
What’s more, if you plan to purchase furniture and appliances after you’ve moved into your new home you may not have to splash out too much on removal services (but remember to factor in the cost and delivery of these items!).
There are plenty of other costs associated with moving home, some of which can be easily overlooked.
If you’ve just bought your dream house, you may be yearning to give the walls a fresh lick of paint, replace the flooring or start buying new furniture. But before you do, make sure to prioritise the most pressing matters first:
- Carry out any major repair work that needs doing.
- Purchase any key appliances you don’t already have.
- Find out how bill prices compare to your previous property’s.
- Have the house professionally cleaned.
You should always set a bit of money aside in case of unforeseen circumstances when moving into a new home - you never know what could have been overlooked.
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