The Average Cost of Moving Home in the UK

November 29, 2023
Increasing home values

What is the average cost of moving home in the UK?

If you’re considering moving house, it’s essential that you understand all the costs involved and how much these are likely to be, so that you can budget accordingly, compare quotes and assess how you could potentially make savings; it’s rarely a cheap business.

Clearly any ‘average’ figure around house-moving costs can be only that, an average, and you will face a higher or lower bill depending on the value of your home, where in the country you live and, additionally, some of the decisions you will make.

What do I need to pay for when moving home?

Make a list. You can break costs down as follows, starting with these expenses when you’re buying somewhere, either as a first-timer or if you’re buying and selling:

Stamp duty

If you’re buying, this is likely to be one of your greatest expenses, although in England and Northern Ireland you do not pay this duty on the first £250,000 of a purchase price. And if you’re a first-timer, that figure is £425,000.

For homes worth between £250,001 and £925,000 (£425,000 and £625,000 for first-time buyers), the rate is 5%. This rises to 10% for all buyers for places worth between £925,000 and £1.5m, 12% for properties with a buying price above £1.5m.

Different fees apply if you’re buying a second property. Stamp duty must be paid within a month of completion; your solicitor will typically deal with the transaction.

Use our online stamp duty calculator to work out what you could pay in stamp duty. But for an averagely priced UK house of around £290,000, you’ll pay £2,100 – nothing if you’re a first-time buyer and this is not an additional property.

Deposit

Again, this is likely to be one of your biggest expenses. Typically, it will represent 10% of the property value, on exchange of contracts. We’ve previously written about this and how much deposit you require to secure a mortgage.

House surveys

While a survey assessing a place’s condition isn’t a legal obligation when buying a property, it helps avoid unpleasant surprises, such as the unexpected cost of rewiring. Costs can range from £300 to £1,500, depending on the kind of survey you have, plus the property’s value and its location.

For a property priced between £250,000 and £350,000, a typical house survey will cost between £500 and £900.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has three tiers of survey, including:

  • Level 1: Condition report: £300 – £900: This looks for the most urgent issues, including immediately visible defects.
  • Level 2: Homebuyer report: £400 – £1,000: This advises on the property’s condition, and looks at issues and repairs: it’s ideal for standard homes in a reasonable state.
  • Level 3: Building survey: £630 – £1,500: This is a full structural survey, often needed for older places.

Mortgage costs

Most mortgages have upfront fees of anywhere between £999 and £1,999. Included in these are:

  • Mortgage arrangement fees: You can often add this to the mortgage, and this charge can amount to up to £1,000. If you’re leaving a previous home loan before time, there may be an early repayment fee.
  • Mortgage broker fees: Some brokers charge up to 1% of your mortgage, others charge nothing.
  • Mortgage protection: You may opt for this insurance to cover your mortgage in the event of illness, unemployment or an accident – the costs for this can vary considerably.
  • Mortgage valuation survey: For new mortgages, lenders order a valuation survey to confirm the place’s vale. This will typically cost between £100 and £300.

Conveyancing solicitor charges

This ensures legal aspects of your property purchase are handled as they should be. There are two elements to this cost:

  • Legal fees: This is what you pay for the solicitor or conveyancer to complete the work.
  • Disbursements: These are third-party costs for services including searches.

Buyers can expect to pay between £300 and £1,500 in legal fees, plus up to £700 for disbursements; sellers between £600 and £800 in legal fees, more if you are in a leasehold situation.

Home buyer protection insurance

This helps cover some of the associated costs of a sale falling through, and cover is available from around £60.

The costs of selling up

  • Getting your house sale-ready: This will vary hugely, but you may want to improve your home to make it more buyer-friendly.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): This rates energy efficiency from A (highest) to G (lowest) and costs between £60 and £120.
  • Estate agent costs: Typical charges are 1.42% including VAT, so around £4,150 for an averagely priced home. With an online estate agent, fees are often lower, up to £1,200. Compare fees and services carefully.
  • Removals: Again this varies considerably so compare quotes and do your research. For a two-bedroom house, price could be up to £550; for a three-bed property up to £800.

Other than that, if you’re selling, you may want to pay to keep some stuff in storage, which could cost between £25 and £100 weekly. And budget for things like mail redirection, currently around £70 for a year. For packing materials, you may want to allow another £100.

So what’s the total cost?

According to the Homeowners’ Alliance, these costs amount to a total of £4,910 for buyers and £5,345 when you’re selling, making the total average cost of moving house in 2023 £10,255. (Excluding the deposit.)

How we can help

Mortgage brokers help save you money by keeping costs low and finding the best deals on home loans. At Mortgage Centre Online, we provide the friendly feel of a local mortgage broker UK-wide, with advice you can trust. Get in touch today to learn more about how we could help you make your next move.

 

 

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