How much does it cost to move house?

If you're looking to relocate, you may be wondering how much it costs to move house. We breakdown the costs - everything from conveyancing, survey, removals, stamp duty, estate agent fees plus EPC

Smiling couple sitting with cats by stack of boxes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Moving house is exciting - but it can also be stressful and expensive. In fact, it could be the most expensive thing you ever do. But how much does it actually cost to move house? 

House prices are on the up, and stamp duty continues to hit property buyers hard. 

The average stamp duty bill has risen by almost £3,000 over the past decade, jumping from £6,065 in 2014 to £9,038 this year, according to Coventry Building Society.

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Meanwhile, the annual rate of house price growth was recorded as 1.5% by Halifax last month.

There are plenty of other costs to consider when buying and selling a property, beyond the deposit, mortgage and stamp duty.

You’ll also need to factor in legal fees (watch out for conveyancing delays, which can add to the stress of moving), survey, removal fees, estate agent costs and paying for an energy performance certificate (EPC).

According to exclusive figures for MoneyWeek by comparison site, the cost of moving home has surged by 14% over the past year - and the difference between regions varies hugely. 

We reveal how much it costs to move home, breaking it down by the different charges, and by region.

The total cost of moving home

Reallymoving crunched the figures to show how much it costs to sell and buy a home. It found the total average cost of moving house in the UK to be £14,432. This includes:

  • Conveyancing - £2,129
  • Survey - £475
  • Removals - £658
  • Stamp duty - £6,922
  • Estate agent - £4,226
  • EPC - £62

Total cost - £14,432

A year ago, the average was £12,696. Rob Houghton, founder and CEO of reallymoving, tells MoneyWeek: “Whilst removal costs have remained broadly the same, the price of conveyancing and surveys has risen, and modest house price inflation has also pushed up stamp duty and estate agent bills. 

“On average, moving home now eats up 44% of the typical UK salary.”

Moving costs: region by region

The average moving cost in England is £15,653, according to reallymoving. Wales is not far behind, at £14,036. But those in Scotland and Northern Ireland pay a lot less, with average fees coming in at £10,208 and £9,884 respectively.

Londoners pay the most out of everyone, reflecting the higher house prices and therefore fatter stamp duty bills. The average cost of buying and selling in the capital is a staggering £34,346. Conveyancing is also the most expensive in London, at £3,026, compared to a UK average of £2,129.

The cheapest UK region to move house is the North-East. Homeowners fork out £5,253 on average.

The second cheapest is the East Midlands, with an average moving home bill of £9,021.

How to lower the cost of moving house

Stamp duty costs

There are some moving costs you can’t do much about. You can’t shop around or avoid stamp duty, for example. 

You must pay stamp duty on properties in England and Northern Ireland costing more than £250,000 (£425,000 for first-time buyers).

In Scotland, home buyers pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. The tax kicks in on properties worth more than £145,000 (£175,000 if you’re a first-time buyer).

In Wales, you pay Land Transaction Tax on properties bought for more than £225,000.

The only thing you can do is haggle the property purchase price down as much as you can: if you get a good deal, you’ll reduce your tax bill as well as saving on the property price itself.

Alistair Singer, director of My Home Move Conveyancing, comments: “Home ownership doesn’t come cheap, and unfortunately, some of the biggest costs involved with moving home are unavoidable, such as mortgage deposit and stamp duty. 

“However, with a bit of effort, you can shop around to streamline other costs such as estate agency, removals and conveyancing fees. It’s always worth getting additional quotes from a range of reputable firms.”

How much are estate agent fees?

After stamp duty, the next biggest cost is often the estate agent fees. According to HomeOwners Alliance, the average charge is 1.42% of the selling price including VAT.

Ask several estate agents to value your home and discuss fees. Bear in mind that if you want a quick sale, the cheapest estate agent may not be the best. Choosing two or even three estate agents to market your home could be the fastest way to sell, but beware that this will be more expensive than going with a sole agent.

You may be able to haggle over the estate agent fee - it’s always worth asking. Some agents may offer a flat fee, such as £5,000, which could be cheaper than a percentage fee. But consider whether a fixed fee will incentivise the estate agent to get the best price for you. For example, if they are being paid 1.5% they will aim to get the highest price, as that will mean more commission for them. 

To save the most money on estate agent fees, you could use an online agent like PurpleBricks, Yopa or Griffin Property Co. The drawback is that you may have to take the property photos yourself, create the listing and manage viewings. 

Conveyancing costs when moving

Legal costs can also take a big chunk out of your moving home budget. Fees vary widely by region, but you don’t have to use a conveyancer in your area. So, Londoners could save more than £1,000 on average by using a conveyancer in the Midlands or north of England.

This can work fine as most conveyancing is done online (check that the conveyancer can accept proof of identity online, and you don’t need to visit their office in person). However, some people prefer working with a local law firm. If, say, you’re selling a leasehold flat in London, it could be easier to use a London conveyancer familiar with leasehold properties than a Yorkshire law firm that has little experience of leasehold flats. 

As well as comparing costs (use comparison tools like Reallymoving and HomeOwners Alliance), ask friends for recommendations. Moving house is stressful, but a good conveyancer can make the process smoother.

Jonathan Stinton, head of mortgage relations at Coventry Building Society, says: “When it comes to things like conveyancing, it's not necessarily the lowest price that gets the best word-of-mouth recommendations. A quick and efficient conveyancing process can be worth its weight in gold when your dream home is tantalisingly close to completion.”


The next biggest cost is likely to be the removals. The UK average is £658, but this could be higher if you’ve got a large house and lots of things to move, and/or you’re moving a long way.

To cut costs, get a number of quotes: compare prices (you can use comparison sites like ComparemyMove and Reallymoving) and ask friends for recommendations. Remember to check reviews on Google and Trustpilot.

If you can, try to move during quieter periods when there’s less competition for services, such as the run-up to Christmas, and avoid peak times like the end of the summer holidays.

Houghton advises: “It’s sensible to book your removals firm in advance, which will help you budget costs – then firm up arrangements at the point of exchange to ensure they can move you on your completion date. Most people want to move on a Friday, so some firms will offer mid-week deals that can help keep costs down.”


The average cost of a survey in the UK is £475, rising to £570 in London.

“Buying a home is probably the largest and most important financial decision you’ll ever make, so don’t be tempted to cut corners when it comes to a survey,” says Houghton.

However, you can reduce costs by using a comparison site and shopping around, checking reviews as well as price.

Houghton adds: “Buyers typically pay £495 for a RICS Level 2 Homebuyer Report. Surveys can uncover major issues such as subsidence, damp, woodworm, Japanese knotweed or problems with the roof, which may be costly to fix and could deter you from buying the property or give you grounds to renegotiate the price.”


Finally, the EPC, which you must have when selling a property. This usually costs between £35 and £120 (including VAT), depending on the assessor and size of property. You can search for one near you and compare quotes on

Ruth Emery
Contributing editor

Ruth is an award-winning financial journalist with more than 15 years' experience of working on national newspapers, websites and specialist magazines.

She is passionate about helping people feel more confident about their finances. She was previously editor of Times Money Mentor, and prior to that was deputy Money editor at The Sunday Times. 

A multi-award winning journalist, Ruth started her career on a pensions magazine at the FT Group, and has also worked at Money Observer and Money Advice Service. 

Outside of work, she is a mum to two young children, while also serving as a magistrate and an NHS volunteer.