When is the best time to buy or sell your home?
When to buy or sell your property can be a tricky subject to navigate. While you want to get the best price for the property you’re selling, you don’t want to pay over the odds when buying your new home. Our short animation looks at some of the reasons that might impact on the cost of buying or selling at different times of the year.
Once you've watched the video, read below for a more in-depth view into each season to weigh up the pros and cons of buying and selling a property during that period.
Buying or selling in spring
Spring can be a wonderful time for those selling their homes. Properties look great at this time of the year, with green gardens in bloom and gentle, warming sunshine bringing out the best of the home’s features. People also tend to prefer house-hunting in fairer weather, as opposed to the frosty climes of winter .
There are more buyers on the market in spring and families often seek to coincide their purchase with the end of the school year, when it’s more convenient to undergo a home move. The heightened competition can help you get the best price for your home, with prospective buyers bidding against each other.
Although fierce competition may sound like bad news, if you’re one of the many spring buyers, that’s not necessarily the case. There are also more sellers on the market in spring , meaning you’ll have a wider range of properties to choose from even if the price may be higher.
Buying or selling in summer
The height of summer may not be the best time for sellers. Although your property may look great in the British sun, it’s holiday season and many buyers are swapping the stress of house-hunting for a well-earned trip away.
It may also be worth the wait if you’re thinking of putting a family home on the market in summer. While children are enjoying some time off school, many parents postpone searching for their next home until the holidays are over.
In 2016, the summer market was extremely slow but, according to online estate agent Rightmove, this is largely down to economic uncertainty triggered by the EU referendum result in June.
Rightmove add that not only is the summer period generally quieter, but sellers tend to price their homes more aggressively, which may make it harder for buyers to find the right home at the right price.
Buying or selling in autumn
As the leaves turn from green to hues of bronze and amber, selling your home in late summer or early autumn could be a shrewd move. Although the market isn’t likely to be as bustling as in spring, it tends to pick up after the summer slow-down and buyers know they could be in by Christmas.
One study conducted by online estate agent Emoov even identified the best day to put your property on the market as September 2. Why that date? Emoov claims that search traffic on websites like Rightmove and Zoopla falls by as much as 30% between the beginning of November and the start of the New Year.
Like in spring, buying in autumn may be more expensive due to the increased competition, but you’re likely to have a wide range of properties to choose from and a better chance to find your dream home.
Buying or selling in winter
Like the icy weather in early winter, the property market tends to cool down too. Although in 2014, 12% of property transactions occurred in December, it takes on average six to 10 weeks to sell a home, meaning most of the those sold towards the end of the year will have been put on the market in autumn.
Properties can often look at their worst in the dwindling daylight and dreary winter weather and attentions of prospective buyers turn to planning for the festive period. Generally, people in the UK aren’t keen on embarking on a potentially stressful home move over Christmas.
In January, the market tends to brighten up again after the quiet of late December. According to estate agents Knight Frank, there’s usually a surge in property hunters acting out their New Year’s resolutions in January, having spent December shopping and partying.
Over to you...
As these seasonal trends can have a significant impact on your sale or purchase, they may not affect you. After all, it only takes one buyer and one seller to exchange on a home and the market varies drastically depending on region.
Whatever you decide to do with your home, we hope understanding some of the forces that drive the market will help you buy and sell smarter.
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