Mortgages  

Cost of moving home tops £12k for first time

Cost of moving home tops £12k for first time

The average cost of moving home in the UK has surpassed £12,000 for the first time as stamp duty and estate agency costs rose, research from Lloyds Bank has shown.

The bank reported that the average home move cost £2,890 more than a decade ago but was now sitting at a total of £12,110 - up 4 per cent on last year’s figure.

The increase of 4 per cent compared with an annual growth in average earnings of 2.9 per cent, which meant people were spending more than a third of their annual wages on costs when moving home, Lloyds stated.

The figures suggested rising house prices have been the main factor in pushing up moving costs, filtering down to increased stamp duty tax and estate agency fees.

Lloyd’s research found more than half the increase in average moving costs this year could be attributed to stamp duty charges, which have risen by 13 per cent to £3,262 in the last year, with estate agency fees rising 3 per cent to £5,729.

Andrew Mason, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: "The positive growth seen in house prices will increase stamp duty and also provide equity to help pay these fees, but it is important to consider the full costs involved when going through the home moving process and they sure make sure all bases are covered to avoid any unexpected shocks at the time."

In a continuing trend across the housing market, London is the most expensive location to move home in with a cost of almost three times the UK average, at £33,741.

Lloyds identified stamp duty as the main cost of moving in the capital, compared with the national average where estate agency fees exceeded the cost of stamp duty.

Martin Stewart, founder and director at London Money, said the figures were to be expected and highlighted the importance of seeking advice in the early stages of the purchase process.

He said: "There are no free lunches in the housing market – people can not expect to see an investment double over ten years and not have to pay for the privilege.

"I think what we need to learn from these figures is the continual importance of people speaking with experienced financial professionals before they even set foot on some magnolia carpet for a viewing."

Mr Stewart said some movers will spend 15 minutes committing to a £500,000 property, when they should be committing the same time to a meeting with a mortgage broker to find out whether they can afford the property.

He said: "Buyers need to get themselves up to speed on all aspects of the buying process - it is foolhardy to agree to buy something and then glibly add ‘you don’t know a solicitor do you?’.

"The phrase Caveat Emptor was created long before our obsession with housing but never has it been more relevant in today’s market."

rachel.addison@ft.com