How much does it cost to buy and maintain an average property in today’s market?

Following a pandemic property market boom that has seen property prices soar to record highs, buying and maintaining property has never been more expensive.

New research by real estate and letting agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed the current exorbitant cost of getting and maintaining a footing on the property ladder.

The initial purchase cost – £49,386

With the average UK house price currently at £278,436, the biggest initial hurdle for homebuyers is the mortgage deposit, which, based on a 15% average, stands at £41,765.

This is quickly followed by stamp duty at an average cost of £3,912, with mortgage charges such as reservation and arraignment charges, mortgage appraisals and electronic transfer charges totaling an average of £1,375 .

Surveyor’s fees, although not essential, are highly recommended when buying a property as they can highlight any issues with the property which could be extremely costly if not not resolved. This costs an additional £425 on average, while the additional fees required for legal and conveyancing fees and local searches are one of the biggest upfront costs at an average of £1,400.

Finally, there’s the cost of moving into your new property, which will cost the average buyer an additional £500.

In total, this brings the initial cost of buying a property to just under £50,000 for the average UK buyer.

Ongoing charges – £19,796 per year

But the financial pressure of home ownership doesn’t stop there. Based on the current market, Barrows and Forrester estimate that the average UK homeowner will pay £12,513 in mortgage repayments on an annual basis.

Maintenance and repairs to the property also average £2,784 a year, with council tax (£1,966) and running costs such as gas and electricity also totaling £2,390 on average each year.

Finally, although marginal compared to the rest, buildings and contents insurance adds an additional £142 per year to the average cost of owning a home.

This means the average homeowner is looking at an ongoing total cost of almost £20,000 per year once they set foot on the ladder.

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, commented: “Homeownership is one of life’s great personal achievements, but it comes at a substantial cost, a cost that has increased dramatically during the pandemic housing market boom.

“For many, buying a property can be much more expensive than expected, as they don’t factor in additional financial needs beyond the initial mortgage deposit and the cost of stamp duty.

“But there are also ongoing costs to consider and these can also be higher than expected, as many of us don’t budget for things like maintenance.

“With monthly mortgage payments also rising with the current cost of living, it is essential that homebuyers consider what they can afford beyond the initial purchase cost, as borrowing beyond their means could well drag them into financial turmoil later on the line.”

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