Moving House Cost

How Much Does it Cost to Move House?

One minute house prices are quoted as rising, the next minute, they’re reported as dropping. Yet one thing that seems to maintain an upward trajectory is the associated cost of moving house.

In January 2018 the average price of a house in the UK was £226,071. However, across local areas and towards London, this average rises: in Worthing the average property costs £276,953; in Brighton £357,863, and in London the price of an average home is £485,830 (House Price Index).

Here at Alliance Removals we’ve had a look to see how these averages approximately relate to the actual costs of moving:

Costs associated with buying







Stamp duty (5% of valuation)




Legal fees (average, likely to be minimum, includes fund transfer fee)




Standard lender valuation




Building survey




Buying total




Costs associated with selling







Estate Agents (average 1.8%)




Conveyancing (average, likely to be minimum)








Selling total

£ 6,700



General moving costs

(based on average 0.5%)







May include: removal costs, postal redirection, connection / disconnection of utilities




Moving costs estimate




Now these calculations are based on averages and are offered as estimates for guidance only. It’s important that they’re not relied upon as definitive figures because they’ll naturally vary according to:

  • Your house buying position - for example first time buyers will not need to pay stamp duty.
  • Individual property values - some fees relate closely to the value of the property you are buying or selling.
  • Mortgage lender requirements - every package is different and will depend on the stipulations the mortgage lender has in place.
  • Additional legal requirements - for example needing to purchase indemnity insurance, to facilitate a property sale or purchase.
  • Packages of services available from professionals involved - these have several factors for variation, including whereabouts in the UK you are buying / selling, movement between locations and whether you are already known to the service, for example if you’re an existing client with the solicitor you choose for conveyancing, you may be offered a discount.

Although you can’t do much about the fixed costs, such as EPC and Stamp Duty, there are plenty of things you can do to cut costs across other areas:

Agents fees

A significant percentage of moving costs comes from estate agent fees. However, these are only paid by the seller, so if you’re a first time buyer these won’t apply to you.

Like any other professional service, shopping around agents to compare services will help inform you what’s available. If the property you’re selling is in a popular area and likely to sell easily, this may give you a negotiating point with the estate agent. Alternatively, if your area is very popular with new people coming into the area, you might prefer to use an online Estate Agent, as these tend to charge less and have a wide online presence which could suit you better than a local agency.

Deposits and stamp duty

These tend to be fixed fees (rather than optional) but their amounts payable will relate closely to the property value and type of financing you have in place. You can influence these though through the choices you make, for instance:

  • The amount you save for a deposit will reduce the amount of mortgage you need, which could reduce the amount payable in mortgage fees.
  • Choosing a property in a lower stamp-duty bracket and then extending it could work out cheaper than buying a larger property in a higher stamp duty bracket - especially if funds are squeezed at the time you move. For instance, stamp duty for properties valued £125,001 - £250,000 require 2% payment for stamp duty. This rises to 5% for properties over £250,00 and up to £925,000, so it might pay to look at lower priced properties if these can be found in the area you’re moving to.

Valuation and surveyors fees

Even if you are paying cash for the property you’re buying, it’s highly recommended that you have some form of survey in order to protect your investment.

If you’re getting a mortgage, then the lender will certainly require a valuation at least and possibly a full building survey as well, or additionally in light of any comments and findings arising from the valuation report.

You may be obliged to use the valuer and surveying companies recommended by your proposed lender, but if you aren’t restricted by this or are paying cash, then it’s worth shopping around local professionals to compare prices and services.

Legal fees

Legal fees will vary depending on the company used. Many will offer combined-cost packages if they are being instructed to do the conveyancing for a purchase and sale at the same time. If this doesn’t seem to be on offer, then ask for a discount or negotiate a package to include both services.

The UK’s seen a growth in conveyancing companies which also offer packages, so it’s possible to shop around. However, consider all aspects of the service on offer, such as:

  • How easy is it to get in touch with your chosen conveyancer;
  • How experienced and efficient they are, as sometimes lower cost packages come at a cost of compromised speed and efficiency - not ideal if a move is time-sensitive.

Fees for local searches (payable by buyers) are usually part of legal costs which need to be paid up front (the solicitor will ask for these funds before carrying out the searches with the local authority). In most cases these cost around £350 - £400.

Financial fees

The financial fees relating to your sale and / or purchase are likely to be non-negotiable but may vary depending on the property values and amount you’re offering as a deposit:

  • Mortgage fees are generally relative to the amount being borrowed.
  • A ‘redemption fee’ may also apply if you are paying off the mortgage on an existing property when your sale completes. This fee is calculated on the day of completion and the final amount will relate to the mortgage sum and interest up to completion day. If you’re downsizing to pay off your mortgage, then paying cash for your new purchase, this is likely to be the only mortgage fee you are due to pay.
  • Electronic transfer is the method by which most property sale / purchase funds are moved from buyer to seller on the day. This usually takes place via the solicitor or conveyancing company and is a non-negotiable cost of around £30 - £40.

Postal Redirection

Royal Mail’s postal redirection service is is an optional cost - you either sign up and pay for it or you don’t. However, unless you know the person who’s buying your current home well, or it’s your first house move out of the family home and you can rely on family to forward your post then, in this age of increasing fraud related to identity theft, postal redirection can prove to be cost-effective for the peace of mind and assurances of safe delivery it offers.

Removal costs

The transportation of your belongings to your new address will almost certainly cost you something, even if you have only few items and are taking them by car. But the average house move requires larger transport, especially if the new property is some distance away. There are two options for packing and transportation:

DIY removals: hiring a van and gathering a willing band of helpers is one way to cut some costs when it comes to removals. However, this idea is not recommended for moves larger than the smallest family homes (Which, 2018).

You should be aware of additional, ‘hidden’ costs involved such as the fuel and insurance costs, as well as the increased potential of risk to your items and your helpers. You’ll also need to source and supply all of the packing materials yourself, such as boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape and labels.

The DIY removals route also has the potential to cost you much more in terms of that very valuable commodity on moving day: time. If you’re packing and moving yourself you’ll need to start the packing significantly ahead of moving date and you’ll need to be up and at it extremely early on the day (and make sure your helpers are too). Sometimes it’s not possible to collect the hire van until a certain time in the day, which again can cause frustrating delays on the day, unless you pay for an extra day in order to get the van in advance, which will of course cost more money.

Professional removal services: professional removal services can be surprisingly economical and cost-effective when you consider the time and energy factors in a DIY move. Professionals are very used to the stresses and issues of moving day, as well as the logistics of fitting the whole of your belongings into the available transport. The removal of that kind of stress alone can be well worth the cost of getting the professionals in!

It’s possible to reduce the costs of professional services through a removals-only package, where your items are loaded, transported and then unloaded by a team of professionals - you just do all of the packing yourself. Alternatively, having the whole move managed from start to finish, including the packing, can offer a cost-effective way to manage the whole move with time and energy to spare.

Finally, don’t forget that Alliance Removals are happy to offer a free quote for removals costs, and wish you every success with your move.

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