How much does it cost to move house in Australia?

Moving into a new place can cost a lot. Here our breakdown of everything you’ll need to keep in mind for your budget.

Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring professionals, moving into a new place can cost a lot. Here is HOOD’s breakdown of everything you’ll need to keep in mind when breaking down the moving out budget.

Flying the coop? Relocating because of retirement? Or you are moving for a better job?

Relocation costs can be elusive and difficult to calculate, and can include hidden costs that make it difficult to come up with an accurate budget. In any case, moving can be more expensive than you’d expect, so it’s important to have at least a rough idea of how much your move is going to cost you.

Fret not, HOOD is here to unpack your relocation costs, box by box.

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Factoring everything in

The cost of moving house can vary from $300 to as much as $3500+, depending on the number of people in the household, the area you’re moving to and from, the amount of physical labour you’re willing to put in, and a number of other factors.

Another way to think about it is through hourly cost; according to hipages (a trade services site), moving house can cost between $75 and $300 per hour.

Another thing your moving costs will largely depend on is whether you choose to outsource the work, or do everything yourself. Obviously the latter is the cheapest option, but some situations make it impossible – you may have large or impractical items to move, you may not be able to drive or acquire a large enough vehicle to move your stuff, or you might just not have the time.

Factors like these may lead you to consider engaging with professional removalists. If you want to know how much removalists charge in your city, use this removalist cost calculator.


Removalist services

No matter the reason, transporting all your worldly belongings can be a gigantic task. If you’re lucky, you may be able to rope your loved ones into a working bee – otherwise, you may have to hire removalists.

A typical removalist service will help you with:

  • loading your possessions onto a moving truck,
  • transportation to your new place,
  • unloading your possessions, and
  • placing your possessions in your new home.

Some removal companies offer special services at an additional cost. These can include:

  • supplying packing materials (boxes, tape, bubble wrap etc.),
  • packing and unpacking,
  • temporary item storage,
  • cleaning your old and new home,
  • pet transportation, and
  • connecting electrical appliances and utilities.

The key advantage of using a removalist service is that they’ll have all the right equipment to move your heavy and awkward belongings, so you won’t have to worry about anything getting damaged in the process. Some removalists even offer insurance, for extra peace of mind.

Of course, if you have the time, resources and manpower, you’ll be able to save on cost by doing these tasks yourself.


Factors impacting your moving costs

If you’re using a removalist, there are several things you’ll have to keep in mind that might affect the service fee:

  • Access issues – if it takes the removalists a long time to get from the property to the truck, prices are likely to increase.

  • Minimum hours – removalists usually charge for a minimum of 2 – 4 hours, regardless of whether your moving time is shorter than this.

  • Time and moving season – weekends a moving company’s peak times. Many companies charge more for weekend removals. If you’re moving in the summer, be prepared for higher prices too, as this is prime moving season.

  • Moving distance – A good rule of thumb is, the further the distance between your old and new home, the more expensive it will be.

  • The size of the move – How many boxes do you have? How many heavy and awkward moving items such as bed, sofa, washing machine do you have?

  • Quality of service – The more expensive the removal company is, the more likely they are to take better care of your possessions. They may even include some premium services, such as packing and cleaning your old home.


If you’re taking the DIY route, here are some things you’d also need to consider:

  • Packing materials – boxes, bubble wrap, fragile item protection (i.e. packing peanuts), tape, newspaper etc.

  • Moving vehicles – moving truck hire, trailers, utes, petrol etc.

  • Moving tools – trolleys, dolleys, box cutters, straps, screwdrivers and the like.

  • Keys – making sure everyone in the house (and maybe even your emergency contacts) has a copy of the keys (at least for the main entrance) to your new place.

  • Utilities connection – get in touch with water, gas, electricity and broadband suppliers to set up connection before you move in.

(Or you could text HOOD and we’ll sort all of your utilities for free).



The size of your old place

A big factor that will play into your moving costs is the size of the home you’re leaving, and the volume of things it contains.

It makes sense that a one-bedroom apartment costs less to move out of compared to a three-bedroom house. A smaller home means less furniture, a smaller truck and fewer movers required.

If you’re using removalists, a move in Sydney costs around $125 per hour for a one-bedroom apartment – using two movers – and around $315 per hour for a four-bedroom home – using five movers, according to hipages.


Moving distance

If you’re moving by yourself, the distance between your old and new homes may or may not impact your moving costs. If you’re just moving down the street or just one suburb over, shifting your belongings over shouldn’t be too stressful, even if it requires several trips.

If you’re moving hours away, interstate or even internationally, you’ll have to be a little more careful with your coordination – using multiple trips to move your stuff will be far more impractical, and will cost a lot more in the way of truck hiring and petrol.

Removalist costs also depend on where you are moving. The further the distance, the higher the price. For example, Oneflare says that the average removalist cost in New South Wales is from $110 to $950. However, an interstate move from New South Wales can cost between $575 and $6000.


Additional services

For any additional services, such as packing materials or pet transport, expect to pay a higher fee.

Here is an example of what Moving24 charges for their services:

Description of Service
Disassembly and Reassembly Help with assembly/disassembly of furniture $125
Cleaning Cleaning of the old and new house $15 per hour
Storage If you can’t move right away $30 per week
Parking permit Parking permit in front of the property $30 to $75
Piano removal -Specialist equipment
-Removal of doors and windows for safe removal
$120 to $480


Cost of moving house interstate

A lot of removal companies offer online calculators. However, if you are relocating interstate, don’t expect to get an instant quote.

In most cases, the moving company will ask for your contact details and more information before they offer a final quote. This is because costs vary and they may need additional details about your move.

Here is a breakdown of what interstate costs include and how much you may need to pay:

Minimum interstate moving costs estimate
Maximum interstate moving costs estimate
Insurance $200 $1000
Utilities $100 $400
Flights and accommodation $1200 $3500
Storage $200/month $400/month
Boxes $50 $100
Rubbish removal $150 $250
Pets $200 $400
Interstate removalists $3000 $5500
Total cost $5,100 $11,550


Relocating house cost tips

Here are some tips to pay attention to when calculating your moving expenses:

  • Ask that the estimate be done in-person – professional removalists will send someone to your home to provide you with an exact quote. If communication is done online or over the phone, chances are you will not get a precise estimate and will end up paying more.

  • Know the costs ahead – paying the removalists is only one part of your expenditures. Depending on if you are renting or buying, you’ll have to pay real estate agents and property surveyors. Don’t forget about services such as postal redirection.

  • Leave some wiggle room – no matter how much you plan, emergencies always happen. Leave some contingency space in your budget.

  • Budget for the bond – the security deposit (or rental bond) at most properties is equivalent to the first month’s rent. Often, you’ll have to fork over a bond as well the first month’s rent before you move in, not to mention the final month of rent at your previous home.

Find the right company

If you’ve decided a removal company is the best option for you, you’ll want to shop around to get as many quotes as possible.

Ask that the quotes be itemised, so you know exactly what you are paying for.

Choose a reputable company known for delivering on time and not damaging things. Check them out at the Australian Furniture Removals Association to avoid any unpleasantness later on.

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