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Woolwich announces their cost of moving home survey 2006


For those on the lower rungs of the property ladder, the cost of moving from an average terraced home priced at £149,906 to a semi-detached of £174,744 is £5,304 in England and Wales. In 2000 home movers paid £3,333 to move from the same type of home*, that’s an increase of 59 percent compared to house price growth of 95 percent on these types of homes.

However, the costs are up dramatically the further up the ladder home movers go. Moving from an average semi valued at £174,744 to a detached home worth £293,248 costs a massive £12,535 today compared to £4,535 in 2000** (an average detached property cost £161,086 in 2000). That’s an increase in fees of 176 percent compared to house price growth of 70 percent. This can be largely attributed to detached properties having gone through the government’s three percent stamp duty threshold set at £250,000.

Andy Gray, head of mortgages for the Woolwich ( ) said: “Contrary to popular opinion the increase in moving fees since the start of the decade for people on the lower rungs of the property ladder has not kept pace with house price inflation, and therefore should not be putting them off getting on the property ladder or taking the next step up. Competition amongst solicitors and estate agents has increased as the less buoyant market has meant less business to chase.

“However, it’s at the top end of the market that people are getting unsettled by headline numbers like £25,000 to move up from a semi to a detached. At these levels people are thinking seriously about extending or converting a basement or loft which can be more cost effective than moving.”
Regional highlights
Since the beginning of the millennium, London fees for moving from an average priced terraced to a semi have increased by more than one and half times the rate of house price growth, as these homes now fall into the three percent stamp duty bracket, whereas in 2000 homes only made it into the one percent threshold. Londoners now pay £16,659 to move from a terraced property to a semi, that’s around £9,500 more than 2000 and can be compared to a mover in the North who pays out just £3,427.

In five out of 10 regions the buying and selling fees have outstripped house price growth when moving from an average priced semi to a detached. The South East is the worst affected area outside of London, as fees have outstripped house price growth by nearly four times and would cost a home mover £15,580. This compares to £5,101 in Wales which is one of the regions where moving costs have risen more slowly than house prices.

How first time buyers fare:
Fees for first time buyers to buy a home have risen pretty much in line with house price growth 94 percent and 99 percent respectively since the start of the decade. First time buyers now need to save on average £9,113 to purchase their first home***, this compares to £4,698 since the start of this decade. Regionally, it’s first time buyers in the South who need to save the most with an average £10,825 compared to £4,615 in the North.

Looking back over the past year:
Stripping out house price changes, in the past year the average buying and selling costs (between £60k and £1m) in England and Wales have remained much the same with a small decrease of 0.4 per cent. Overall solicitors’ charges have reduced by one percent and estate agents increased by one per cent.

Regionally, the fees for buying and selling varies widely with a key divide between the North and South, home buyers in the North pay on average 11 percent less than those in the South. The difference in costs is due to estate agents fees, which simply reflect the cost of properties in the South. Sellers in the South pay on average 33 percent more than their counterparts in the North. Solicitors’ fees are also 30 percent higher in the South.

* house prices in 2000 terraced £78,629 / semi-detached £91,341 – source land registry
** house prices in 2000 semi-detached £91,341 /detached £161,086 – source land registry
*** first time buyers costs include 5% deposit, solicitors, land registry, search and stamp duty fees.
Average first time buyer house price from Halifax.

About The Woolwich
The Woolwich is the mortgage arm of Barclays ( ).
Barclays acquired the Woolwich in October 2000. The acquisition has given the group the opportunity to provide extensive services to our customers, for example Openplan which was pioneered by the Woolwich has now been rolled out across the Barclays Group. This has provided numerous benefits to our customers such as paying off mortgages ( ) early through our market leading Offset product.


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