Moving costs aren’t what they used to be: how COVID-19 has made your move more expensive (and yet also less!)

You might well have been tempted to strike while the iron’s hot in this pandemic, spurred on by the chancellor’s announcement last year of a temporary stamp duty holiday, and buy a new property.

We don’t blame you for liking those apples. Despite the chancellor’s timely measure, however, which he’s extended until 30 June 2021 and which has lowered the overall cost of moving by 39%, you’re still going to pay more than you would have previously.

So what’s going on here?

We’ve put on our best Sherlock Holmes caps, polished our magnifying glasses and looked at things more closely. We then followed it up with some advice on how to swerve unexpected removal costs.

And it’s nothing complicated; in fact, it’s elementary, our dear Watson!

Moving on up

The consumer organisation Which? has published some stats from our industry counterparts at Reallymoving which revealed the cost of moving had climbed.

A surge in house prices after the introduction of the stamp duty cut seems to be the culprit and the rise in house prices has caused some of the additional costs of moving to increase alongside them.

It means you’ll need to whip out your spreadsheet again and create enough wiggle room in your budget to cover the following approximate costs:

  • £3,936 in estate agent fees
  • £1,682 in legal fees
  • £450 for a house survey
  • £546 for removals (although this can range between £300 and £600)
  • £55 for an energy performance certificate

Estate agent fees and legal fees are the biggest moving expenses and have also seen the largest increases (14% and 15%) respectively. House surveys are around 10% more expensive and removals (sorry!) have crept up by 3%. The good news: your energy certificate stays the same price for now.

Location, location, location

Thanks to the stamp duty holiday, the average cost of moving falls from £10,9111 to around £6,669, placing around £4,000 back in your pocket.

But your location will have a big impact on your savings. If you’re in London, the holiday cuts the cost of moving by 52%. If you’re in the south east, east or south west of England, you’ll save a hefty 53%, 47% and 40% respectively on your move.

Lower house prices in Northern Ireland, the north east of England and Wales mean that stamp duty was already lower in those regions. That means a saving of around 20%, 17% or 22% on your moving costs, depending on where you are. Better than a kick in the bum, we say. Or maybe you quite like a good kick in the bum… we’re not here to judge!

Sidestepping unexpected removal costs

Christmas might feel like it’s come early if you’re moving (we’d be happy enough with a space hopper!), but you need to keep your guard up, which is why we’ve highlighted how to avoid unexpected removal costs with the tips below.

Check your insurance policy

Insurance companies are tricky little devils, so check your insurance policy first to see exactly what it covers and in what circumstances when it comes to your removals. Don’t assume your insurance provider will foot the bill for any breakages or other damage that occurs during your move.

Hire a professional removal service

Insurance companies prefer professional removal services. When the firm packs your items and transports them for you, the insurer may be more compassionate if your prized 50“ LCD TV or other belongings end up with a world-ending crack in it en route.

If, however, you’ve chosen to do it yourself or hire a non-professional with a van, your insurance company is likely to shrug their shoulders, refuse to cough up and will then make a run for it before you berate them. You’re on your own, in other words.

That’s why we’d suggest finding a professional removal company to take care of your move. You’ll find plenty of reliable, professional removal service providers on our site who can conduct your removals responsibly.

So if you’re making hay and moving while the sun shines, be aware your move could cost you more than you thought. As well as countering potential unexpected costs of removals, you should also take care to leave rental properties clean and with the facilities in working order and settle any unpaid bills so they don’t come back to bite you.

Now, Watson, where did we place that violin?

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Left Brain Digital .

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