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House moving costs rise to almost £5000

With summer periodically the most popular time of year for house moving, new research reveals the true cost of moving across the country, showing stark differences between cities.

Analysis from Barclays Mortgages shows the average upfront cost1 of moving home in Belfast including estate agent, legal and surveyor fees, land registry, EPC and stamp duty, is £3,226 on top of the purchase price. Meanwhile, the average unexpected associated costs2 can add up to £1,750, meaning homeowners in Belfast are stumping up £4,976 on average in total home moving costs.

This is compared to the UK average of £7,641 for expected costs and £1,690 for unexpected costs, totalling £9,331.

Upfront house moving costs

The analysis looked at the average upfront cost of moving by city across the country, and found that across the UK, costs vary significantly. Liverpool residents expect to pay just £2,787, compared to a whopping £22,417 spent in upfront costs for those looking to purchase a typical property in London.

For homebuyers also selling their own property, estate agent fees can play a major part in costs. For example, those selling a property in Oxford on average pay £5,783 in estate agents fees compared to £1,780 in Glasgow.

Stamp duty can equally cause a financial headache for those looking to move. In London, where the average house price is currently £482,200, homebuyers have to find typically £14,110 in stamp duty. House hunters in Oxford and Cambridge have on average similarly large stamp duty bills to pay too, with £10,365 and £11,130 respectively.

On top of this, building insurance costs can amount to £107 and a survey – although not a legal requirement but recommended – will set you back a further £550. An energy performance certificate is a legal requirement, which adds an additional £90 on average.

Associated costs of house moving

In addition to these largely anticipated costs, many people house moving are being caught out with a number of unexpected costs, including childcare, self-storage, decorating and pet-sitting fees. Indeed, nearly one in two (47 per cent) say they have incurred such costs as a result of moving property3.

The most commonly unanticipated costs nationwide include buying new furniture that didn’t fit in the new home (43 per cent), decorators/DIY help (34 per cent) and the need to buy takeaways for the first few weeks after moving in the absence of a fully functioning kitchen (26 per cent). Bristol and Belfast pay the most in unforeseen costs on average, while London the least.

Daniel Wallance, Branch Manager at Barclays in Belfast, said: “Buying a house is a huge financial moment and the lead up to your dream home should be as stress-free as possible. Our findings show that on top of the burden of expected costs, homebuyers are getting caught out by additional costs that aren’t included in the asking price.

“To balance the budget, try to plan ahead and really challenge what home move costs you could cut down, or better yet, if there are any you can cut out. Enlisting friends and family to help out could really save the pounds too. Our Barclays app helps customers plan ahead and see their payments in a calendar view, making it really simple to balance outgoings.”

The cost to wellbeing

Whilst the hidden financial implications are high, moving properties can also have a negative impact on mental health. Of those surveyed in Northern Ireland, 40 per cent admitted that moving home made them feel worried and anxious.

The research also revealed that 50 per cent of homebuyers in Northern Ireland admitted to not being prepared for moving financially, underestimating the overall costs involved. This has resulted in 40 per cent admitting to needing to lean on family members for financial support to deal with the unexpected costs of moving – putting additional strain on their mental wellbeing.

Daniel Wallance continues: “Whether it’s storage for belongings, parking and removal vans or even childcare, buying a new house can really take its toll on finances at a time when home movers will be feeling the pinch. We know that financial pressures are a principal contributor to stress and anxiety around a house move. Being prepared for any last minute costs is a first step to make that milestone as smooth as possible.

For more details on the Cost of Moving, go to: https://www.barclays.co.uk/mortgages/guides/real-cost-of-moving/

The known costs of House moving


CityAverage legal fees (freehold property)Estate agent fee (if selling)Land registryStamp dutyTotal known fees
UK City Average£7,641

Sourced from leading estate agents and independent property companies across the UK. A full list of sources is available on request. July 2019.


The associated costs with buying a home:

CityAverage hourly ChildcareAverage hourly ParkingAverage weekly Self-Storage 

Average ½ day Removal

Average hourly DecoratorAverage hourly Pet- SitterAverage Annual Council Tax

(Band D)


Sourced from leading city providers. Unexpected costs of moving were calculated based on the average cost of the following in UK cities: 1 hours of childcare, 1 hours of parking, self-storage for one week, half a day’s removal service, 1 hour of decorators’ time, 1 hours of pet sitting and council tax. July 2019