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Pandemic creating moving cost chaos

removal men

When you move, you expect to pay more than merely the mortgage or rent. The Coronavirus pandemic, however, has triggered all kinds of dips and jumps in moving costs. 

Despite the Chancellor’s introduction of a temporary cut in stamp duty, which has lowered the overall cost of moving by 39%, the property market experienced a boom in which house prices grew at their highest rate in six years in 2020. This has triggered an increase in the additional costs of moving. 

Below is a look at some of the other moving costs that have changed during the pandemic, plus a look at some of the unexpected costs of moving.

Stamp duty holiday, but higher standard moving costs

According to the consumer organisation Which? quoting figures from the comparison site Reallymoving, the costs of conveyancing, house surveys, removals and estate agent fees have increased. 

Now you can expect to pay approximately:

  • £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

This puts the average cost of moving at £6,669, to which it has dropped from £10,9111, thanks to the stamp duty holiday removing an average of £4,000 from moving costs.

Beware of unexpected costs

Meanwhile, the website This Is Money has warned consumers of the hidden costs of moving. Their concern is that consumers get so caught up in taking advantage of the stamp duty cuts that other costs catch them completely off guard.

Some are simple, such as paying for the redirection of mail or for broadband installation. Then there are more major unexpected costs, especially for renters, such as potential repairs to their previous place of residence, cleaning, unpaid bills and removals.

In the case of removals, the site highlights the financial risk of conducting your own removals. They inform consumers that insurance companies may cover the cost of any breakages if you hire a professional removal company, whereas if you don’t hire a professional removal service, you could end up footing the bill yourself for damages. Insurance companies tend to cover removals if the company packs and transports the items for removal itself.

Working with a removal company

In this age of COVID-19 and lockdown, the Government is advising you to do your own packing. If that’s not possible, you should use the packing services of your removals company. You should also try to arrange your removal as soon as possible in advance of your move. 

You should clean all items before the removal. During the removals process, open all internal doors and keep a distance of two metres between yourself and the removal team whenever possible. Avoid providing them with refreshments.

The hidden cost of adjusting to lockdown

The lockdown has not only increased the costs of people who are moving; adult children who have moved back home have bumped up their family’s cost of living.

Research for The Telegraph found that 1 in 10 adult children had returned to their adult homes for at least part of the lockdown. Meanwhile, a Barclays survey of the additional spending of 1, 000 families revealed they’d seen their lockdown bills for essentials such as food and energy increase by as much as £2,702 over a 10 week period.

Lockdown has created chaos for people moving, but also a few surprises. Whereas some costs of moving have fallen, others have increased, so moving might not be quite as cheap as you think.