Over £6 billion was spent on moving house last year

According to new research from Lloyds Bank, home movers spent £6.6 billion in 2013 - up from £5.2 billion in 2012.

The cost of moving increased by 6% in a year, to £8,248 - equivalent to 25% of average gross full time earnings.

It is thought that this increase has been mainly driven by increases in estate agent fees, stamp duty and legal fees, all of which increased by 7% in 2013. These costs are all typically influenced by rising house prices; other costs such as surveyor fees and removal costs have shown no change. The average spend on stamp duty for a home mover is now £2,001, with average agency fees at £3,601.

According to the figures, the total cost of moving has increased by 22% in the 10 years since 2003. However, the data also highlights strong regional differences; in the same period, the cost of moving in the South East has seen an 85% increase.

Those moving house in London have been particularly affected; the average cost of moving in the capital is £20,825 - nearly half (47%) of the average gross full time earnings in London. This means that moving in London is almost 5 times more expensive than moving in Northern Ireland, where average house prices have dropped below the stamp duty threshold, bringing costs down.

Marc Page, Lloyds Bank mortgages director, commented on the findings:

“The cost of moving can be an expensive one, and rising house prices have had an impact on this with more property sales now within higher stamp duty brackets. On top of the costs of moving, homemovers also need to consider the costs involved with changing mortgages, such as product and administration fees.

“However, as earnings have also risen in the last ten years at a higher rate than the cost of moving, at a national level the relative cost of relocating to a new property is actually lower than it was in 2003.”