Average Scot now paying more than £8000 to move house

Post_Office_MoneyLatest figures from the Post Office’s challenger banking arm, Post Office Money, have revealed that moving house in Scotland now costs, on average, more than £8,000.

The data published today by the post office, in collaboration with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), showed that, London aside, the average cost of moving in the UK is £9,034 –a 59 per cent over the last decade and twice the rate of inflation.

The cost borne by Scottish flitters is up from an average of £5,862 in 2004 and exceeds the rate of inflation over the same period by roughly ten per cent.

Homeowners north of the Border have seen a 38 per cent rise in the cost of moving decade, with estate agent fees alone surging by more than two thirds to £3,721 for an average move.

In total, a mover in Scotland was typically shelling out £8,097 in 2014 for the combined cost of estate agent fees, stamp duty, surveyors’ costs, conveyancing and removals.

The cost of Scotland sees it come roughly in between the West and East Midlands.

Average stamp duty costs in Scotland have risen only fractionally over the past ten years, from £1,352 in 2004 to £1,366 – an increase of just £14.

In comparison, the cost of a removals company has increased by £179 on average, from £855 in 2004 to £1,034 in 2014 – up 21 per cent.

The cost of paying an estate agent to market a property is up 68 per cent over the past decade, from £2,214 in 2004 to £3,721 in 2014 – an increase of more than £1,500 per average move in Scotland.

Meanwhile surveyors fees were costing movers £557 in 2014, compared to £402 a decade earlier, with solicitors costs also surging by more than a third from £1,039 for conveyancing in 2004 to £1,419 last year.

John Willcock
John Willcock

John Willcock, head of mortgages at Post Office Money, said: “With prospective home buyers’ attention firmly fixed on saving for a deposit, the additional costs of moving can often come as an afterthought – particularly for first-time buyers.

“Although house prices may continue to rise, there are steps buyers and movers can take to reduce the amount they pay on top of this.

“Planning ahead is essential and potential home buyers should be setting aside savings specifically for these costs.

“These ‘add-ons’ should be considered as part of the overall cost of buying or moving home.”

The average projected cost of moving is forecast to hit £15,414 by the end of 2020 – but the research also found that 84 per cent of prospective homebuyers were severely under-estimating the cost of moving.

A survey of 500 people looking to buy a home in the next three years found that, on average, they expected the cost of moving to come to less than £7,000 when in fact it would typically cost them around twice as much.

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