Estate agency fees continued to be one of the largest property transaction costs last year despite agents not having put their charges up. For a second year running, they are at an average of 1%.
Analysis by removals and conveyancing comparison website Reallymoving.com – based on user and market data – claims sellers paid agents 1% plus VAT in 2018, so 1.2% overall. This was flat on 2017.
However, rising Stamp Duty, conveyancing and survey charges pushed up the total cost of moving home by 6% between 2017 and 2018, to a record high of £9,812 – equal to one third of the median UK salary of £29,588.
The website found that home movers now pay on average £4,500 in Stamp Duty, an annual increase of 11%.
Average conveyancing costs in 2018 were £1,497 versus £1,417 in 2017, while surveying costs were up by just 1% to £400.
Estate agent fees typically cost £2,880 based on a rate of 1% plus VAT, while an Energy Performance Certificate cost £55, according to the research.
First-time buyers have been boosted, though, thanks to the Stamp Duty exemption up to £300,000 and saw the costs associated with buying their first home plummet by 29% in 2018 to £1,809.
Rob Houghton, chief executive of Reallymoving.com, said: “It has never been more expensive for home owners to move, despite the fact that most providers of home move services, such as estate agents, removals companies and surveyors, have refrained from increasing prices over the last year as they fight for business from a smaller pool of movers.
“It’s a different story for first-time buyers, however, who have benefited from a significant fall in the upfront costs of buying their first home due to Stamp Duty changes.
“For those first-time buyers with a medium to long-term view, now could be a good time to buy with costs and mortgage rates low and plenty of sellers prepared to do deals.”
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