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What is the average cost of moving house?

You’ve found the property of your dreams and you’re ready to make the move in the future, but before you get your heart set on those new four walls it’s important you carefully calculate the cost of moving house.

How much this costs depends on many factors, from how much deposit you want to put forward to the property price itself. The build-up to that big move will involve contacting numerous businesses and services to get quotes and then you’ll need to decide who offers the best value for money and what you need to ensure the move goes smoothly.

In this guide, we’ve taken a look at the most common figures around the average cost of moving house and what these mean to paint a picture of how much you need to save for that house move.

The cost of moving house broken down

  1. 10% deposit – £22,562
  2. Conveyancing fees – £1,500
  3. Local searches – £250
  4. Survey – £400
  5. Estate agent fees – £3,203.81
  6. Stamp duty – £2,012
  7. Mortgage valuation fee – £200
  8. Electronic transfer fee – £40
  9. Removal hire cost – Varies
  10. Storage unit costs – Dependent on the size of unit needed.
  11. Post redirection – £46.99

The average cost of moving house (excluding deposit): £7,652.80

The deposit

The average property price in the UK currently stands at £225,621. This means if you were to put down the recommended 10% deposit you would need £22,562, either as savings or in equity on your current property.

If you are looking to use a scheme such as Help to Buy, perhaps if you’re considering buying a new build, this may mean you only need a 5% deposit. If this is the case, you would still require £11,281 before any of the other costs are calculated.

Conveyancing fees and searches

Your conveyancer acts to handle the legal side of the house buying, performing searches and requesting details on your behalf. According to the Money Advice Service, conveyancing fees typically cost anywhere between £850-£1,500.

You’ll also need to account for the searches they carry out, on top of this fee. This includes a Local Authority Search which is a requirement if you are taking on a mortgage. A Local Authority Search looks into the area around your property to ensure it meets current standards, for example, it will check that any planning decisions made on the property were correctly done and whether there is any contaminated land to consider.

The cost for these searches vary on the solicitor you use and the council your house sits under, but on average they cost between £250-£300.

If you are selling a property, you’ll also need to pay the conveyancer to handle the legal side of this too.

Property survey costs

It’s important that you have a survey carried out, to ensure your property is sound and to highlight if there are any issues that could arise in the future. The type of survey you choose depends on a number of things but a RICS Homebuyer Report is perhaps the most common one. Here, we’ve broken down the cost of each survey type available and what they offer:

Survey Cost What is involved?
RICS Condition Report £250 This is a very basic survey, usually reserved for new builds. It checks and describes the general condition of the property and highlights any obvious risks or issues.
RICS Homebuyer Report £400 A Homebuyer Report is ideal for those looking for a cheaper survey but one that looks for things such as damp, subsidence and any structural problems. It will suggest if any repairs may need to be made in the future. If anything is picked up, you can get a quote for the work that needs carrying out and ask the seller to take this off the property price.
RICS Building Survey £400-£500 This survey is ideal for older homes or properties that require extensive work. It uses a 1,2,3 system to highlight the most important jobs and the biggest issues so you can account for these when negotiating the final sale price and for future plans.
Structural Survey £600+ The most comprehensive survey, it’s best for older properties and if you want extensive detail on the work that may need to be done. It’s a good bargaining tool for the future sale negotiations.
New Build Snagging Survey £300 It may seem a little cheeky to have to pay for checks to be made on a new build property but it must be done. This survey involves an expert looking around the property to ensure work has been carried out correctly and that there are no structural issues or defects. It also looks at smaller issues such as installation of new bathrooms and kitchens and decorative work. The developer must fix anything that is raised before you move in.

Estate agent fees

If you need to sell a property in order to move, you’ll likely take on the services of an estate agent who will handle the organisation of viewers and the marketing of your property itself. It’s a good idea to shop around, to find one that offers the best rate. Most estate agents ask for a percentage of the overall sale price, with the average currently standing at 1.42%. This doesn’t sound like much but on a house worth £225,621 this means you’ll be paying them £3203.81.

In recent months, online estate agents have proved cheaper when it comes to selling your property with an average cost of anything from £600-£2,000, so perhaps consider one of these. Purple Bricks, Yopa and House Simple are just three of the most well known ones.

Stamp Duty

The rules around Stamp Duty have changed in recent years but now it is calculated in increasing increments of the property price. A % is applied to each band of property price and this is how much you will pay. This is how it is calculated:

Property ValueStamp Duty %
£0 to £125,0000%
£125,001 to £250,0002%
£250,001 to £925,0005%
£925,001 to £1.5 million10%
£1.5 million and above12%

So for the average property price in the UK of £225,621, you would pay £2,012 in Stamp Duty. It’s an important element when working out the cost of moving home if you are looking at a property worth £125,001 or more.

If you’re buying a second home, stamp duty works a little differently. It’s now more expensive, with a 3% stamp duty charge applied to homes worth more than £40,000.

Mortgage valuation fee

A mortgage valuation is carried out by lenders so they can check that the property you’re buying has been correctly priced. The fee for this isn’t always charged, some lenders include it in the price of the mortgage overall, but some ask for it up front. Always check first! However, the cost can range from £150 to £1,500, depending on how much the property is priced at.

Electronic transfer fee

When your mortgage lender transfers the amount you are borrowing to your conveyancer, this sometimes comes with a fee because they are handling so much money. On average, it costs between £40-£50.

Removal service costs

These can vary greatly depending on a number of factors from how large your current property is to how far you’re moving to how much you want the removers to do in terms of packing and loading up the van.

When it comes to choosing a removal service, it’s a really good idea to shop around and get recommendations. Remember, they will be handling your worldly possessions so you want them to treat them with care. Get a number of quotes too but try to avoid choosing the cheapest one, simply because of the savings. Look for movers you friends and family have used or recommended.

Another option is to hire a van and do it yourself. This requires a lot of effort from you and whoever you’ve roped in to help but it can save a fair amount of money.

What affects the cost of removals?

  • The day of the week you want to move – Weekends cost more.
  • The distance – If you’re moving from Scotland to Southampton you’re looking at a lengthy drive that will push the price up significantly.
  • The size of your current property – A 2-bed house will cost less to move, than a 4 bed one, as there’s less furniture to get into the back of a van.
  • The amount of removal staff required – If you need more than one or two people to assist with your move, that’s going to cost you.

Storage unit

If you need somewhere to house your belongings while you renovate your new property or perform some important repair work, a storage unit is a great option. The cost of these varies, depending on the size you need. Get a quote from our team today for a unit in our Southampton store.

Post redirection

It’s a good idea to pay for your mail to be redirected to your new address. Many people opt into this service for around 6 months, to give them enough time to update everything they need to. This currently costs £46.99 with Royal Mail and only applies to one last name associated with that address, so if you and the person you’re moving with have different surnames you will each have to sign up for the service. 

Leasehold sellers and buyers

It’s worth noting that if your property is a leasehold – this usually applies to those living in shared ownership properties or new builds – there may be a service charge deposit to consider.

If you pay a quarterly service charge to cover the maintenance costs of the building and area, you may be required to pay a deposit to cover any bills that may be incurred. Of course, if there are no fees to pay you’ll have this returned to you. It’s worth checking your agreement when you purchased the property to determine if this is a cost you’ll need to factor in. If your property is freehold, it’s something you won’t need to worry about.

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to working out the cost of moving house, but with a list to work through you should be able to account for the cost of everything before settling on a moving day.

It’s also a good idea to look into our full moving house guide for tips on how to prepare for the move and what needs to be done for it to go smoothly. This covers everything from who you need to notify about your new address to how to update important documents such as your driver’s licence and V5. You can find this here.

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