The Stamp Duty exemption for first-time buyers has helped take 45% off the cost of moving for first-time buyers, but not across the board, research suggests.
Analysis by removals comparison website Compare My Move – incorporating conveyancing, agency, survey and removal costs – found that home owners paid on average £9,580 when moving last year, but first-time buyers paid just £1,561, a saving of £1,263 thanks to the Stamp Duty cut announced in the Budget.
The average moving cost for existing home owners was worked out based on typical UK property prices of £260,223 and estate agency fees of 1.5%, based on user feedback.
But the first-time buyer data is lower as they wouldn’t pay agency fees or for other elements such as an energy performance certificate.
The research took the average first-time buyer property price of £188,173 from the Land Registry, which would previously have worked out as £1,263 in Stamp Duty, but savings were smaller across the regions.
In the north-east of England, average property prices were already under the Stamp Duty threshold at £109,027, while those in Wales and Yorkshire would save under £200.
The biggest winners were found to be in the south-east and London, where first-time buyers saved 64% and 59% in moving costs respectively, thanks to the cut in Stamp Duty.
The highest average cost of moving for home owners was £28,714 in London, where average prices were £544,293.
There is a handy calculator on the Compare My Move website to help buyers compare the cost of moving.
A spokesman for Compare My Move said: “Clarity on costs is key, and knowing exactly how much you need to save can help keep your dream house from becoming a nightmare.
“It can be particularly daunting for first-time buyers, with many saving for years to get their first foot on the property ladder. For them especially, thousands of pounds in unexpected extra costs can be incredibly stressful. And as our figures show, recent Stamp Duty changes haven’t helped first-time buyers across every region, meaning it’s as important as ever to be fully aware of extra costs.
“There are many ways to reduce costs, including performing conveyancing yourself, and using price comparison websites to compare and save on removal and surveying costs.”