Although the market is far less seasonal than it used to be, there are still highs and lows in terms of how many properties come to market. Being aware of the cycle and who is more likely to buy at what time, can help you achieve a timely sale on your home.
Here is a breakdown of buying and selling trends for each season of the year.
With people thinking of the future after the start of the new year, spring is generally regarded as a good time to sell. It means that buyers can be in their new homes before summer, and families can be settled before the start of the school term. The Bank holidays give selling a boost during this time as they allow people more time to view properties and consider their options.
The spring months work in the seller’s favour because houses tend to be looking their best, with bright blue skies and colourful flowers doing wonders for property photos and viewings alike. Similarly, the long days and warmer weather means that buyers are more motivated to be out looking for their next home.
As far as the months go, some research suggests that houses sell faster in May than in any other, cutting listing times down by almost three weeks. Not only that, but selling in May could mean that you can achieve a slightly higher price. Of course, this is never guaranteed, but if you are looking to sell in spring, the first two weeks of May wouldn’t be a bad time to start.
With the children out of school and many people heading off on their holidays, summer is usually quieter for selling. However, summer can be a good time for downsizers looking to buy as they don’t tend to have the restrictions of term time and usually prepare to house hunt during the warmer months. These types of buyers tend to look at fewer houses and make their decisions sooner rather than later, so this can be a great time of year for smaller one or two-bedroom properties.
If there are summer buyers out there with school-age children, they will also have a sense of urgency around their house-hunt, wanting to get the kids settled before the new school year rolls around. So if you do find you have to sell over summer, try and get your home on the market as early as you can.
Autumn usually sees a small rise in activity in early September, one of the reasons being that it is far easier for parents to house hunt while the children are at school, and this carries on through to late November. People are back from their holidays and there is still an opportunity to be in their new homes before Christmas, giving buyers to explore what’s on offer in the area of their choice. Plus, there are no major holidays to contend with, meaning that getting a sale through is likely to be much smoother sailing than over the summer months.
As with summer though, it’s best to get your home listed at the beginning of the season. Data from Rightmove suggests that November is the worst time of year to come to the market, likely in part due to the lead up to Christmas.
Although the start of winter tends to be quieter, over Christmas a lot of people make decisions about moving, whether to upsize, downsize or move to a new area. As a result, many may consider coming to market in late January or February and of course, buyer numbers will also gradually increase.
First time buyers, young couples and singles are particularly likely to begin their house hunt early in the year. This makes it a great time for flats and terraced homes, however, there will also be plenty of buyers out there looking for larger, higher-value properties.
Bear in mind that, whatever time of year you come to market, your home will likely receive the most interest within the first 4-6 weeks, so keep that in mind whenever you choose to make your move.
But don’t forget, although there are seasonal trends for selling, there are always motivated buyers at any time of year, either through the desire to move or having a sale of their own property. Ultimately when selling your home, it comes down to what time of year works best for you.
Plus, selling at ‘slow’ times can have its perks too. Buyers are more motivated to do a deal and might be less picky, there’s less competition so it’s easier to stand out, and solicitors, mortgage lenders and surveyors are less busy and more available, meaning the process can move along quicker.
If you are thinking of selling and would like advice specific to your home, please feel free to give us a call on 024 7624 9333. We will be delighted to help you.