Average cost of moving home in the UKrises to over £11,500, with costs in London jumping to £32,000

15 September 2017

  • The average cost of moving home in the UK now stands at £11,624

  • Moving costs in the South West increased by £2,345 (21%) over the past year; four times the national increase

  • The average moving cost in London is £32,092 – nearly three times the UK average

  • London has seen the highest rise in the cost of moving over the last decade, with a £10,225 (47%) increase  

The average cost of moving home in the UK has increased by £628 over the past year1 to £11,624 (from £10,996), according to the latest research from Lloyds Bank. This 6% rise comes at a time when the annual growth in average earnings is at 2% and the price that consumers have to pay for goods and services is up 3% (consumer price index2).   

Rising house prices have been the main factor behind the increase in moving costs, pushing up estate agency fees, stamp duty and conveyancing fees as all three are typically linked to the purchase price. 

Over half of the increase in average moving costs in 2017 has been due to stamp duty costs, which have risen by £393 (16%) to £2,897.  Estate agency fees have risen by £1673 (3%) to £5,571 and legal costs are up by £39 (3%) to an average of £1,290. (Table 1) 

There are significant regional differences across UK

The national average cost of moving home (£11,624), however, disguises significant regional differences with the average moving costs in the South West increasing by £2,345 (21%) over the past year - four times the national increase of £628. Moving costs in East Anglia have risen by £1,936 (18%). 

At the other end of the spectrum, costs have fallen in the North East (-8%), Scotland (-8%) and Yorkshire & the Humber (-1%). This largely reflects property price differences in these areas compared to the rest of the UK. 

Andrew Mason, mortgages product director at Lloyds Bank commented:

"The cost involved when moving home has continued to rise over the past year, making it even more difficult. Those looking to move in London are facing a considerable challenge with the cost involved being nearly three times the national average. The combination of both higher property prices, and the rapid increase in those prices in recent years, results in significantly higher moving costs.” 

Moving costs in London are almost three times more than for the UK as a whole

The average moving cost in London is £32,092 – nearly three times the UK average. The average homemover in the capital pays just under £16,000 in stamp duty and over £11,000 in estate agency fees. The higher level of stamp duty compared with estate agency fees contrasts with the national average where estate agency fees exceed stamp duty. 

The cost of moving in the capital equates to a substantially higher proportion of annual gross earnings than nationally: 73% against 34%.  

The South East is the second most expensive region for moving with an average cost of £21,373. 

Northern Ireland has the lowest moving costs, at £6,131 (20% of annual average earnings), whilst moving costs are between £6,418 and £8,092 in Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East, Scotland, the North West and Wales. 

Moving costs increase to a third of gross annual earnings

The total cost of moving in the UK has increased by £2,029 (21%) in the past ten years from £9,595 in 2007 to £11,624 today. This is slightly greater than the percentage growth in average house prices over the decade (16%) and average gross annual earnings (17%). As a result, the total cost of moving has risen to 34% as a percentage of gross annual earnings4 in the past ten years. 

Again, there have been substantial regional differences in moving cost trends. London has seen the highest rise in the cost of moving over the last decade, with a £10,255 (47%) increase from £21,837 to £32,092. This rise is substantially higher than in any other region with a £3,717 increase in East Anglia being the next highest. 

In sharp contrast, moving costs in Northern Ireland have fallen by £5,382 (-47%) from £11,513 in 2007 to £6,131 in 2017 due to the dramatic decline in house prices in the country following the onset of the financial crisis in 2007. Moving costs in the North East (-17%), Scotland (-12%) and Wales (-5%) are also lower than a decade ago.