Cost of moving home in UK plummets by almost 40%

Nov 14 | 2020

The cost of moving home in the UK has plummeted by 39% from £10,911 before the stamp duty holiday came into effect on 8 July, 2020 to £6,669 after, saving the average person buying and selling a home in the UK £4,242, according to reallymoving’s annual Cost of Moving research, released on 28 September, 2020.

Reallymoving has analysed data from 239,000 quotes in the last year to reveal that while legal fees, estate agent fees, survey and removal costs have all risen, now is the cheapest time to move home in decades as a direct result of the temporary suspension of stamp duty charges (SDLT) on purchases up to the value of £500,000.

With house prices having a significant impact on moving costs, such as estate agent fees and legal fees, a sharp rise in the average house price since the stamp duty holiday announcement has contributed to a rise in the cost of other services. The largest expense for home movers who are both buying and selling is currently estate agent fees averaging £3,936 (+14% increase), followed by legal fees at £1,682 (+15%). The cost of a survey has risen by 10% to £450 and although varying significantly depending on the distance of the move and the volume of possessions transported, removals charges have also increased by 3% to £546. The cost of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) remains unchanged at £55.

Reallymoving CEO Rob Houghton said, “The cost of moving has been steadily climbing for many years but the Chancellor’s stamp duty giveaway has made now the cheapest time to move in decades for those buying and selling a property.|”

“There’s little let up for First Time Buyers, who are facing increased house prices and greater moving costs than a few months ago, making it even harder to save enough for a deposit and to cover the up-front costs of buying a home. Despite this, levels of demand from First Time Buyers remains reassuringly high, suggesting they’re still finding ways to buy, including through Shared Ownership, Help to Buy and the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’.”

“While it’s best to act quickly to take advantage of the stamp duty savings, buyers should also bear in mind that we’re probably seeing a temporary spike in house prices, so for some it may be better to wait until the holiday ends when prices are widely expected to return to more normal levels. In an unpredictable market it’s more important than ever to compare ratings and customer reviews when searching for home move services, as well as price, to ensure that when you do decide to buy, your transaction progresses as smoothly as possible.”

The cost of moving has been steadily climbing for many years

Table 1: Change in the cost of moving home in the UK in 2020

Table 2: Annual change in median property price for repeat movers (buying and selling) and FTBs