Moving home costs in UK at highest level since 2007, study shows

Taylor Scott International News

The average cost of moving home in the UK has risen by 5% to £8,689 in 2014 from £8,258 in 2013, its highest level since 2007, new research shows. The increase in the past year of £431 was mostly driven by fees paid to estate agents and surveyors, both of which accounted for £386 of the total rise in moving costs, according to the study from Lloyds Bank. As a result of this rise in costs and an increase in home sales in the last year, the total amount spent on moving has grown sharply by 15% in 2014, from £6.5 billion in 2013, to £7.5 billion in 2014. The rising cost of moving is driven by a 7% or £266 increase in estate agency fees and surveyors costs growing by 22% to £665 in the final quarter of 2014 compared to the same period a year earlier. Over the same period, conveyancing fees increased by 7% or £74 to £1,074. The average stamp duty paid fell marginally by 1% or £28 to £1,973. Many of these costs have increased as a result of higher house prices in 2014 compared to the year earlier, the report points out. The research also shows that stamp duty now accounts for 23% of all moving costs, whilst the proportion taken up by estate agency fees is 45%. In the 10 years since 2004, the total cost of moving has increased by 15% or £1,137, the same as the increase in house prices. In this period, average gross annual earnings have increased by 24%, meaning the total cost of moving as a percentage of earnings has decreased marginally, from 28% to 26%. During this period both house price and earnings growth lagged behind the increase in the consumer price index which rose by 30%. ‘With the cost of moving at its highest level since 2007, people struggling to cover the costs should look to make savings wherever they can. The recent changes in stamp duty should help buyers reduce their overall cost of moving, which can be a significant boost,’ said Andy Hulme, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank. Just four regions have seen the average cost of moving fall in the past year. They include Yorkshire and the Humber where home movers have seen moving cost fall by 8% to £5,875, North East and Wales both saw a fall of 7% and the North West it was down by 1%. On the other hand, for home movers in the London average moving costs has grown by 11% to £23,116, the most expensive moving bill in the UK. Whilst, in Northern Ireland there has been a 22% or £929 increase to £5,181 which is still the lowest in the UK. The cost of moving in London equates to 53% of the average gross full time earnings of £43,519 of London residents. In Northern Ireland this proportion is just under 19%, again, the lowest in the UK. Continue reading →

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