The cost of moving home is rising faster than house prices and is a significant factor contributing to the cool-down in the housing market.
According to Woolwich’s annual Cost of Moving Survey, the expenses associated with moving home have increased by as much as 13%. Costs have changed inconsistently across price bands with those at the lowest and highest ends of the market being worst affected.
At the lower end, below the £60,000 threshold for stamp duty, the overall cost has risen by 11%-13% as a result of a 10% rise in legal fees and a 28% hike in the cost of obtaining local authority searches. At the upper end of the market, the impact of the recent stamp duty rise is being felt, coupled with higher Land Registry charges and solicitors’ fees. To move from a £250,000 property to one at £300,000 would cost an additional £7,222 before moving costs, according to the report.
Solicitor’s charges are up by an average of 8%-9%. The average cost of local authority and other searches has risen by nearly a third to £101, irrespective of the value of the property. The rise in stamp duty is hitting the upper end of the market, adding £1,500 to the cost of a £300,000 home. But estate agent commissions have fallen, with reductions of up to 7% in the upper end of market and 2%-3% at the lower end.