• Brits Moving Home, Time and Money Spent Every Year

    art-6In the UK, we spend a staggering 6,500,000 (six million, five hundred thousand!) days a year engaged in moving house.  Approximately 650,000 people annually take the plunge and the average person will need roughly 10 days to complete their move. If we play with the numbers a little, that huge statistic translates into the British people spending the equivalent of 17,808 man years each and every year leaving one residence to live in another!

    According to research carried out by Bosch, Mr. and Mrs. Average will pack up their belongings and seek new horizons no fewer than eight times over the course of their lifetimes. We are indeed a restless nation. In this article, we will look briefly at why we move, how far we go, what takes so long and how we can help you to help yourself.

    How Much Do We Spend?

    gr15The total cost of a house move, including removal costs, remortgaging, Stamp Duty and ancillary expenses comes in at a surprisingly high 31% of average annual earnings. In London, where more properties attract the higher rate of Stamp Duty, this figure can be as high as 61% – or nearly two thirds – of average annual earnings.

    Given that property prices in the south of the country are still rising at a rate of roughly £2,500 per month, moving house is unlikely to get cheaper any time soon.

    When the cost of moving is so high, it is important to get it right – which is where theremoval.com can help.

    Property Prices

    gr3As an aside, in September 2013, the BBC published a Special Report about property prices. It drew heavily on records held by the Land Registry in England and its equivalent organisations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, The report tracked house prices for the period April to June of 2013.
    One of its findings was that prices had jumped 3.9% in the year and 4.75% in just three months in the Greater London region. The price of property in Greater London, averaged across all the London boroughs and all property types, stood at £479,940.

    Knowing this, it is easier to believe now that the cost of moving house is such a large percentage of the average annual salary!

    The variation in prices between London boroughs is truly astonishing. Kensington and Chelsea boasts – if that is the right word – the highest average cost at £1,586,426; Barking and Dagenham to the east of London has the lowest average, coming in at £185,460.

    At the other end of the scale, properties in Kingston-upon-Hull will cost you about £102,500. Again, different types of property attract different valuations so the asking price for a detached house will be about £171,893 and a flat will go for as little as £69,034. The surprise, however, is that these prices represent an average increase of 9.5% in the year and 3.3% in the three months to June 2013.

    Why We Move

    gr12We British start young. In one recent survey of over 2,000 homeowners, the research suggested that people will move twice on their own account – in other words, they were not doing it as part of a family move organised by their parents. Surprisingly, they will do this before the age of eighteen. They will then tend to move a total of three times more during their twenties before settling down for a spell.

    The most common reason for moving among this age group is to leave home and start an independent, adult life. A quarter of those surveyed said they had first moved out in order to attend University and a further 34% had moved out of the family residence in order to set up home with a new partner.

    When people are starting out in life, they may move several times, often because they are only renting rather than buying their properties. It is not uncommon to move every eighteen months to three years.

    An informal and completely unscientific survey on Mumsnet recently discovered that some people simply suffer from itchy feet and enjoy moving every so often. A significant number of other Mums reported that they have been forced to move – sometimes more than once – because of problems with landlords or because the houses they were renting were in poor repair.

    As you would expect, once people have children of school age, they are less willing to move unless they have to do so for reasons connected to their jobs or because their houses are no longer big enough to accommodate their families comfortably.

    Finally, of course, many older people move for the last time once the youngest of their children has left the nest and they ‘downsize’ to a smaller house which  is more suitable for a couple who no longer need so much space in which to live.

    How Far Do We Go?

    gr4Excluding those who have chosen to work abroad or to emigrate permanently, the majority of families – 80% of movers – will move about 32 miles from their current residence. Only 20% of people who move will travel 200 miles or more. The majority will eventually live roughly no more than 63 miles away from their birthplace … and it is neither easy nor cheap.


    How Will You Spend Your 10 Days?

    gr8The entire process of moving house can take between eight and ten weeks, Most of that time is taken up with finding a suitable house, dealing with solicitors and financiers, managing buying chains and so on.

    Even so, most people will need about 10 days just to complete the physical move itself.

    Ten days seems like an awful long time. Surely, all you need to do is book the removal company, spend a day packing up, a day moving and a day unpacking at the other end …. Why does it take so long then?

    Six days of the average move will be taken up before anything is loaded onto the lorry.

    Just Telling People Takes Ages

    242Simply informing suppliers such as your gas, electricity, water and telephone companies eats up time, Not only must they be informed but the drawing up of final accounts and switching off supplies has to be co-ordinated and managed. Don’t forget that, these days, most of us have broadband or cable TV piped into our homes which also need to be switched off at the old house and switched on at the new one.

    You also need to inform your doctor that you will be leaving the practice and arrange for the medical records of you and your family to be forwarded to your new GP as soon as possible.

    In addition, of course, if you are moving to a different borough or Unitary Authority, you will need to inform your local government body of your leaving date so that you do not continue to be assessed for


    Council Tax and you can be removed from the electoral register once you have left the area.
    If you think that is all you need to worry about, you would be wrong. Have you thought about redirecting your mail? More time spent.

    You may be keeping your mobile phone number but your billing address will have changed so your provider needs to know.

    So does your bank.

    You have, of course, updated all your online accounts such as Amazon, eBay, your favourite online video provider, supermarket delivery service and any other internet services you use which need to know where to find you.

    You need to think about your professional relationships, too. Do you have an accountant or solicitor? Have you informed HMRC of your change of address?

    Packing Up

    gr9Some of this time will actually be spent packing up your belongings and cleaning the house before moving out!

    The British are famed worldwide as a nation of amateurs, If you can afford it, however, the task of putting everything into boxes and making an inventory may well be one you should consider handing over to the professionals. They will do the job much more quickly and efficiently than you and their commercial insurance policies will cover you in the unlikely event that they break any of your possessions.

    So how will the rest of your time be spent? If you are anything like the average person, you will spend two days doing the physical move – loading the lorry, driving to the new house, unloading and putting everything roughly where it needs to be.

    Once everything is in, your final two days will be spent handing over your old house and putting everything in the new one into its proper place. You will probably need to sort out schools for the children if you have not done so already; you will need to register with the local GP, get yourself and your partner onto the electoral register, and inform the new Council that you are now living within their borough.

    Of course, the whole process of managing the utility companies has to be done the other way around once you have moved to ensure that power, water and communications are switched on and available as soon as you need them.

    75,000 Days Just To Talk …

    The average person spends about half a day per move simply getting quotes from different removal companies. That figure assumes each person only asks for quotations from the first three removals companies they are able to contact.

    Each year, Britons collectively spend an estimated 75,000 days collecting and comparing quotations. We sit on the telephone for a mind-boggling 205 man years every year trying to get hold of removal companies! The phone rings but isn’t answered – or the person who you need to talk to is out for lunch or “they’re out on a job at the moment”.  Even when you get hold of someone, you are likely to spend another half day in face to face meetings with the company representative when he or she comes round to quote for you.

    Some Good News – Save Time For Free

    gr18A free service like theremoval.com can help to reduce some of this dead time for you. All you need to do is to tell us your postcode, the postcode of the house to which you are moving, your estimated moving date, name, email and contact telephone number – and we will do the rest! We will search our database and select reputable removal companies near you.

    Finally, we will automatically inform our select companies that you are looking for help you with your move. The ball will be in their court and they will call  you, normally within 24 hours.

    Think Ahead, Plan Ahead – Allow Lots Of Time

    Moving house is never going to be easy or stress-free. However, you can do a lot to help yourself and reduce the inevitable frustrations and difficulties by planning ahead.  Make sure you understand what needs to be done and then do yourself the biggest favour of all: allow plenty of time to do it.

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