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Graham Awards


Buyers stung by high hidden costs when moving home

New research from Compare the Market has revealed that nearly seven in 10 households have been caught out by surprise costs and fees when moving home. The average cost of these hidden fees is £5,837.
The most common surprise costs when moving home include legal fees being larger than expected (41%), while one in four (26%) noted the surprisingly high cost of moving, such as hiring a removal van or paying for short-term storage. More than one in five said that they were surprised by the high cost of mortgage arrangement fees (23%) and their homebuyer survey (22%).
Households typically had to pay an average of £1,521 for legal fees, while moving costs typically cost £349. The most expensive surprise cost was unplanned building work, which 15% of households had to pay after purchasing a home. This typically set households back by an average of £6,825

Hidden cost

Proportion of homebuyers caught out


Average cost

Legal fees



Moving costs (e.g. removal vans)



Mortgage arrangement fees



Homebuyer survey



Valuation fee



Mortgage broker fees



Unplanned building work



The spring months have traditionally been the most popular time to move home, so more homebuyers could risk being caught out by hidden costs at this time of year.

Two in three households (67%) were concerned when they found out about these hidden moving costs. Most homeowners paid for the additional cost using their personal savings (65%) while nearly one in five (18%) used help from friends and family. Some 15% used a credit card and almost one in ten (9%) took out a personal loan to help cover the costs.
Andy Hancock, chief growth officer at Compare the Market, comments: “We all know that buying your own home is one of the most expensive purchases you’re ever going to make. But you might not be clued up on all the additional costs involved in buying a new home, which can be more than £5,000 on top of the house price. Credit cards and personal loans are popular ways to cover these hidden costs if you don’t have enough savings. If you decide to take out a credit card or personal loan it is worthwhile shopping around online and comparing deals to find one that suits your needs and circumstances.”


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