how much does it cost to move house 2023
Costs of moving house can increase during certain times of the year. Image: Supplied
  • Costs of moving house can increase during certain times of the year
  • Clearly labeling items can help ensure the process goes smoothly
  • Booking a 'backload' can help reduce costs when you're on a tight budget

The costs of moving house are unsurprisingly varied depending on what you are moving, how much, and how far.

In this guide, we delve into the various factors that affect house moving costs, and call upon the experts to provide estimates on how long it takes to move house, how much, and even compare the difference between moving apartments and moving house.

What affects the costs of moving house?

The most obvious factors affecting house moving costs are time, distance, and how much you are moving.

Muval‘s moving guru, Alana Lowes, told The Property Tribune there are several other factors you might not consider at first glance, but the time it takes and costs all add up.

“The kind of access you have to your property can affect how long it will take to move. If you have stairs and elevators, all this can result in extra time to move your items.

“The key is to make sure you are detailed in the information you provide when booking your removalist. The more detailed your inventory list is the more accurate the quoted price will be, so no surprises at the end!”

Alana Lowes, Muval

Timing can also impact house moving costs, Lowes said the busiest time of the year, or “moving season” typically starts around October and goes through to March.

Time was also an important factor in a slightly different way:

“Booking your removalist in with plenty of notice (at least four to six weeks prior to your move is recommended) as this can help with comparing multiple quotes as more removalists are likely to be available on the day you are wanting to move,” said Lowes.

Among other things to keep an eye out for include special, heavy, or delicate items. This may be a piano, antiques, and fine art, all of which increase handling time.

Moving insurance can come at an extra cost, said Lowes, but of course, it is a good idea when you have important and valuable items being moved.

The cost of moving house

The experts at removalist comparison site, Muval, kindly ran the numbers for The Property Tribune, with the typical moving cost for a two-bedroom apartment floating around $600 to $700, with the moving cost for a three-bedroom house north of $1,200.

Local two-bed apartment Local three-bed house
Average total Rate per hour Average estimated time (hours) Average total Rate per hour Average estimated time (hours)
MEL $620 $155 4 $1,330 $190 7
SYD $600 $155 4 $1,120 $160 7
BNE $600 $150 4 $1,120 $160 7
PER $680 $170 4 $1,330 $190 7
ADE $640 $160 4 $1,190 $170 7

Source: Muval, for The Property Tribune.

Interstate house moving costs

If you are heading across the border, be ready for apartment moving costs of around $3,000 up and down the east coast, with an east to west coast move almost $5,500. House moving costs are around 75% more expensive, with a Sydney to Perth move reaching nearly $10,000 and taking around five days.

Local two-bed apartment Local three-bed house
Average total Rate ($/m3) Transit time (hours) Average total Rate ($/m3) Transit time (hours)
SYD > MEL $2,600 $130 24 $4,550 $130 24
MEL > SYD $2,500 $125 24 $4,375 $125 24
BNE > SYD $2,400 $120 24 $4,200 $120 24
BNE > MEL $3,200 $160 48 $5,600 $160 48
SYD > PER $5,400 $270 120 $9,450 $270 120
BNE > Rockhampton $3,100 $155 24 $5,425 $155 24
SYD > Orange $2,600 $130 4 $4,550 $130 4
MEL > Shepparton $2,500 $125 3 $4,375 $125 3

Source: Muval, for The Property Tribune.

How long does it take to move house?

Several factors affect the time it takes to move house, Lowes noted:

  • How organised you are,
  • Weather, and
  • Whether the removalist is professional, qualified and experienced.

Weather can impact moving times because, as Lowes noted, work can slow down to account for safety, delays in traffic, or waiting for breaks in the weather to ensure items do not become damaged.

Ensuring the removalist is qualified and experienced is also important, “… as using inexperienced and slow removalists can seriously affect the time it will take. All of Muval’s moving companies are quality assured and experienced removalists,” said Lowes.

Alana Lowes-Muval
Alana Lowes said being organised can help you make the most of a removalist. Image: Supplied.

Having a system in place can help speed things up on moving day, but also ensure everything is accounted for.

“By being organised you can make the most of the time you have booked with your removalist,” said Lowes.

“I highly recommend creating a colour code system to match your boxes with the room they belong in. This not only saves time, but it means you won’t have to be moving the boxes around once the removalists have left. Just unpack and enjoy your new place!”

How to make moving house a smooth and seamless process

Aside from creating a system and having clearly labeled your items, ensuring you have your essentials sorted can make a world of difference.

The most important thing to do is to ensure your utilities are organised.

“I have been there before, arriving to my new rental only to realise I hadn’t arranged for the electricity (or even worse these days – the wifi!).”

Lowes recommended packing an “essentials box”, containing all you need to make the first night at your new place comfortable. This can include things like a toaster, coffee machine, change of clothes, toiletries, first aid kit and chargers should be packed in this box.

Another recommendation to help make the first night at your new place a smooth transition: organise a grocery delivery for the day you move in. This means you can have some fresh food in your fridge ready to go.

Making the most of a removalist

Getting the process down pat can help with reducing time and cost when moving house.

“Before the removalists arrive, move what you can to the entry/ground floor of your property – that way the movers don’t have to use up time (and your money) going up and down stairs or in and out of each room,” said Lowes.

Taking photos and knowing the floor plan of the new home can also help in planning the move.

It is also important to know where a removalist can park:

“If you live in the inner city make sure you have applied for any necessary parking permits at least 10-14 days in advance so your removalist truck can park as close to your entry as possible, this saves time ferrying your items to and from the truck to your place.”

Surprising tips and tricks

We asked Muval if there were things that people may not realise will help make the house moving process just that little bit easier.

Lowes told The Property Tribune that turning on the airconditioning or a fan can help reduce removalist fatigue, making the process just that little bit faster and more comfortable.

Getting your moving process started early also helps you sort out what you need and don’t need, meaning you can sell them at a traditional garage sale, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, or similar. It also helps keep house moving costs down as you are moving less.

If you can’t sell, think about donating, added Lowes.

How to save money when moving house

As we already mentioned, planning well ahead means you can compare quotes and find the best deal.

When the budget is tight and you think you might not be able to afford a removalist, one suggestion was to use removalists where it counts:

“We constantly hear horror stories from people who regretted asking friends and family to help them move so it is absolutely better to hire a professional removalist. If your budget is stretched, it’s all about minimising the time that removalists spend doing things that you could otherwise do. Maybe rope in your friends and family at the unpacking or packing stage rather than asking them to help you move everything from one place to another,” said Lowes.

Another tip was to “backload”.

“By booking a “backload” you are only booking the space you need and not a whole truck (if you don’t need a whole truck of course),” said Lowes.

“Backloading is when you book the remaining truck space on a truck that’s already booked by someone else.”

While you will have to be a bit flexible with pickup and delivery dates and times, Lowes said it usually means big cost savings relative to booking a “primary load”.

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