Home owners 'spending an average of £11,000 on moving house'

Home owners' moving costs have increased by around £870 over the past year to reach nearly £11,000 on average, a report has found.

Rising house prices have driven the increase, pushing up estate agency, stamp duty and conveyancing fees, Lloyds Bank said, taking the typical cost of moving home to £10,996.

In London, home movers can expect to pay £4,732 more than a year ago, with the average cost of moving there now standing at £31,416.

The particularly sharp rise in moving costs in London is mostly due to London house prices having increased by 14.5% over the last year, compared with an increase of 8.5% across the UK generally.

The average home mover in London pays more than £15,000 in stamp duty and £11,000 in estate agency fees, the report found.

Mike Songer, mortgage director at Lloyds Bank, said: "The cost of stepping up the housing ladder has continued to rise sharply over the past year.

"As a result, the cost of completing a home move in the UK has grown significantly over the past decade, to nearly £11,000.

"This trend is especially marked for buyers in London and the South East with the combination of both higher property prices and more rapid increase in prices in recent years resulting in significantly higher moving costs in these parts of the country."

The 9% increase in moving costs over the last year across the country is significantly higher than the rise in living costs generally, with a 0.6% Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation recorded in August.

Moving costs have also increased faster than earnings over the last decade, by 25% versus a 17% increase in full-time earnings, Lloyds said.

As a result, moving house now eats a bigger chunk out of people's earnings than it did 10 years ago.

The total cost of moving has increased from 30% to 32% as a percentage of gross annual earnings.

In London the average cost of moving has increased by 68%, or £12,680, over the past decade.

Moving costs in London now take up nearly three-quarters (72%) of annual earnings on average.

But with house prices varying widely across the UK, in some places the cost of moving has fallen over the past 10 years.

Moving cost in Northern Ireland, where house prices fell sharply after the economic downturn, have fallen by £1,957 or 27% over the past 10 years and now stand at £5,401 on average. Northern Ireland was found to have the cheapest moving costs across the UK.

The cost of moving home in the North East of England and Wales is also now slightly lower than it was 10 years ago, down by £111 and £154 respectively.

Moving costs in Wales are now £6 cheaper on average than they were a year ago. In Scotland, the cost of moving home has edged up by £125, or 2%, over the past year.

Here is how the cost of moving home across the UK adds up on average, according to Lloyds Bank, followed by the percentage and cash increase in these costs over the last year (figures have been rounded):

- Stamp duty, £2,504, 17%, £372

- Estate agency fees, £5,404, 8%, £402

- Surveyors' fees, £665, 0%, £0

- Home removal, £1,111, 0%, £0

- Conveyancing, £1,251, 8%, £93

- Energy performance certificate, £60, 0%, £0

Here is how the cost of moving varies across the UK, with the average cost now according to Lloyds Bank, followed by the change over the last year in percentage and cash terms and the change over the last 10 years in percentage and cash terms:

- South East, £20,210, 20%, £3,382, 27%, £4,329

- London, £31,416, 18%, £4,732, 68%, £12,680

- Yorkshire and the Humber, £7,730, 11%, £795, 8%, £582

- East Anglia, £10,973, 10%, £999, 30%, £2,558

- North East, £7,133, 9%, £604, minus 2%, minus £111

- Northern Ireland, £5,401, 6%, £328, minus 27%, minus £1,957

- South West, £11,098, 5%, £552, 20%, £1,823

- West Midlands, £9,814, 4%, £412, 15%, £1,314

- East Midlands, £8,389, 4%, £284, 7%, £565

- Scotland, £6,947, 2%, £125, 7%, £431

- North West, £7,459, 1%, £69, 1%, £95

- Wales, £7,563, 0%, minus £6, minus 2%, minus £154

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10 property hotspots

In Scotland, Edinburgh is seen as a city with huge growth potential. In 2014, prices in Edinburgh were up 10% in a post referendum boom that shows little sign of slowing down.

Local agents are not expecting quite such stellar growth for the next 12 months, but they think price rises will be well above the average predicted for the whole country.

Rightmove named this as the area where it expects house prices to grow the most over the next five years. It says that over this period there will be a huge number of people moving out of London in order to afford to get onto the property ladder. They want a reasonable commute combined with plenty of attractions in the local area, and Southampton offers all this. With relatively affordable housing stock, it's a prime candidate for growth.

Luton was Rightmove's candidate for the second biggest house price rises over the next five years. It emphasised that this isn't a mater of opinion, it is the result of crunching the data.

Luton is another major beneficiary of the move out of London, and while it is arguably not as attractive a place to live as Southampton, it's only 23 minutes into central London - which rivals some of inner London's commuter times. With average prices of £179,368, it's clearly a far more affordable option, and the area has already started to show signs of a boom.

This was the third area suggested by Rightmove. As with Southampton, it is well positioned for London commuters, and also has huge local attractions.

A survey last year asked young professionals to name the place they would most like to live, and Brighton and Hove were the only areas that appeared on the list outside London.

One of the reasons it's not higher up the list is that houses are already on the pricey side, with an average cost of £338,956 - up 13% in the past year alone.

There may be few people who grow up with the dream of living in Swindon, but the electrification of the rail line to London will bring travel times down across the West Country, so Swindon becomes part of the outer commuter area.

Given that the average property costs £168, 968, it's easy to see why Swindon will be a popular option for commuters on a tight budget.

Bath is also going to benefit from electrification of the line, because the commute to London will fall to a manageable 70 minutes. The beauty of the city - along with a vibrant social and cultural life - makes it a clear choice for more long-distance commuters.

Of course, with an average asking price of £374,617, it's not a tremendously cheap place to buy, but the geography of the city restricts development, so these prices are expected to rise still further.

Property Frontiers says that the booming house prices in Oxford are set to get even higher. At the moment, travel to London takes 60 minutes, but this will reduce even further in 2016 when the line is electrified. Prices in the most desirable parts of the centre aren't much cheaper than London.

However, further out there are pockets of affordability, and when the Water Eaton station opens in 2015 it will open up areas to the north of the city too.

Manchester has seen enormous property price rises over the last couple of years, and Property Frontiers expects this to continue into 2015.

Other commentators are expecting the growth to slow over the next few years, especially given the gains made since 2012. However, demand for properties remains buoyant, and with the growth of the local economy, price rises seem inevitable.

Rising prices in London have pushed buyers further and further out of the centre, so estate agents are now claiming zone three as 'the new zone 2'.

Savills believes that the biggest gains over the next five years will be the less glamorous districts - putting the South and East in the frame. Gritty areas that could benefit include Ladywell, Streatham and Catford in the south, and Leytonstone, Forest Gate and Walthamstow in the east.

Cambridge could also perform well. It has already had house prices lifted by the growth of tech companies to the north of the city, and the arrival of pharmaceutical headquarters will help push prices up further.

In 2016 a new rail service from the city to the science park will keep prices rising, and beyond the opportunities presented by the local economy, Cambridge is also part of the 'outer commute' area of London, which Savills expects to shoot up in value over the next five years.


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