Scottish cost of moving house soars over ten years

Most people are setting aside only roughly half the amount they will need to move. Picture: Getty
Most people are setting aside only roughly half the amount they will need to move. Picture: Getty
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THE average cost of moving home in Scotland has increased by 38 per cent over the past decade to just over £8,000, research has found.

Scots now pay £8,098 for every house move – a hike from £5,862 in 2004. Across the UK, the cost of moving home has soared by 59 per cent over the past ten years to reach nearly £12,000.

With prospective home buyers’ attention firmly fixed on saving for a deposit, the additional costs of moving can often come as an afterthought.

John Willcock, head of mortgages at Post Office Money

Average moving costs, including stamp duty, estate agent and surveyors’ fees and removals came to £11,894 by the end of 2014, according to a study compiled by Post Office Money and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

It said that in 2004, these costs came to £7,475, meaning they have increased by 59 per cent over the past ten years. This rate of increase was around double the 29.4 per cent growth in living costs between the end of 2004 and December 2014, according to the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation, the researchers found.

The study, partly based on Office for National Statistics figures, took changes to stamp duty in December 2014 into account.

Despite those changes making it less costly than it was for the majority of home-buyers who are liable to pay the tax, house-price increases over the past decade have pushed many properties into higher stamp duty brackets.

People moving in the south-east of England were hardest hit by increased moving costs, which jumped by 97 per cent over the past ten years to reach £16,510 in 2014.

London remains the most expensive place to move home, with the average cost totalling £27,946.

In Wales, it is £7,270, while Northern Ireland was least expensive at £6,453. The cost of moving is forecast to increase further, reaching a UK average of £15,414 by the end of 2020.

But a survey of 500 people looking to buy a home in the next three years found the average amount they expected to need for moving costs was a little over half the likely actual cost, at £6,895.

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 who are taking their first steps on the property ladder.

“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.”

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