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Cost of moving rises 6% in a year - that's mostly down to stamp duty

The average cost of moving home in the UK has increased by £628 over the past year from £10,966 to £11,624 - that’s a six per cent rise at a time when the consumer price index has risen three per cent and average earnings are up two per cent.

Most of the rise is down to stamp duty according to Lloyds Bank, which has drawn on its own data and that from the Halifax, Which?, Pickford and the Office for National Statistics. 

Rising house prices have been the main factor behind the increase in moving costs, pushing up stamp duty in particular. Lloyds says over half of the increase in average moving costs in 2017 has been due to stamp duty costs, which have risen by £393 or 16 per cent to £2,897. 

Estate agency fees have risen by £1,673 (that’s three per cent) to £5,571 and legal costs are up by £39 (also three per cent) to an average of £1,290.

The national average cost of moving home (£11,624) disguises significant regional differences with the average moving costs in the South West increasing by £2,345 (a whopping 21 per cent) over the past year - four times the national increase of £628.

At the other end of the spectrum, costs have fallen in the North East and Scotland (both down eight per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (down one per cent). This largely reflects property price differences in these areas compared to the rest of the UK.

The average moving cost in London is £32,092 – nearly three times the UK average. The average homemover in the capital pays just under £16,000 in stamp duty and over £11,000 in estate agency fees.

The cost of moving in the capital equates to a substantially higher proportion of annual gross earnings than nationally: 73 per cent against 34 per cent.

The South East is the second most expensive region for moving with an average cost of £21,373.

Northern Ireland has the lowest moving costs, at £6,131 (just 20 per cent of annual average earnings), whilst moving costs are between £6,418 and £8,092 in Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East, Scotland, the North West and Wales.

The total cost of moving in the UK has increased by £2,029 or 21 per cent in the past 10 years from £9,595 in 2007 to £11,624 today. 

This is slightly greater than the percentage growth in average house prices over the decade (16 per cent) and average gross annual earnings (17 per cent). 

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