If you want to sell your home and you have a choice about when to do so, you may well be wondering what the best time of year to sell a house in the UK is. While the property market is always subject to fluctuations, there are periods when house sales perform particularly strongly.
If you want to know when the best time to sell a house has been in the past – and is likely to be in the future – read on to discover all you need to know about seasonal variations in the UK property market.
How the time of year affects house sales
If you have a residential property to sell, then the timing of this can make a difference to how soon that ‘sold’ sign goes up. The month or season may even affect the price your buyer pays.
Selling at the right time can therefore mean not only a more lucrative sale, but one that’s all sewn up more quickly too.
When homes sell more quickly
Late February, March, April, May, June, September & October
The best time of year to sell a house is between March and June. Sales have historically performed more strongly during this period, and prices are also at their most robust.
The second-best time of year is during late September and the whole of October. Sales can also be fairly strong during early February and early July.
When homes sell more slowly
August, December & early January
House sales tend to slow down most in December and early January, but due to the Summer holiday season, August can be slow too. The market can slow in late July, early September, November and late January moving in and out of those periods.
When to list a property for sale
If you want to achieve the best possible price for a home, then the ideal time to list it for sale is just before or at the start of spring. This gives you the spring and early summer period to find a buyer. March is said to be the best month of all, but February also gives you a head start.
Otherwise, list it for sale during mid September and you can take advantage of the year’s second busiest period. This is from mid September to the end of October.
From late October onwards, however, houses tend to take longer to sell. So get in as early as you can to hit that peak period.
When not to sell a property
The times to avoid, if possible, include the period between the start of December and mid January. This is because house sales tend to slow down during the Christmas season, as people focus on the festive period rather than financial or practical matters.
The other slow period runs between mid July and throughout August. This coincides with the school summer holidays, so many people are away from home or otherwise occupied during the peak summer season.
There are also seasonal misnomer’s, caused by world ‘events’ such as the Football World Cup or prolonged snow in early Spring.
Other factors influencing house sales
Supply and demand
As with any monetary matter, the law of supply and demand plays probably the biggest role in house sales. If you can supply just the right property that someone wants to buy, then securing a sale even during December or August should be easy.
Ideally, you want just a few sellers in the area offering the same sort of property as you are, plus a number of people who are ready to buy.
Let’s say there’s a surge in demand for three bedroom semi-detached homes – and that happens to be exactly what you’re selling. If there are lots on the market to choose from, then of course you could struggle to secure a sale due to the level of competition.
On the other hand, if your three bed semi is one of only a handful on the market – and thus demand outstrips supply in that neighbourhood – then you have a great chance of securing a fast and more lucrative sale.
A simple way to check out the competition is to take a look at Rightmove, PrimeLocation or Zoopla. That way you can see what’s for sale in your location and work out how and when to pitch your property to beat the competition.
The type of property
The type of property you’re selling also plays a part. January, February and September are very strong for finding first-time buyers, and those looking to upsize tend to buy outside the school holidays.
Downsizers, meanwhile, seem to prefer the warmer months between June and September.
The pros and cons of selling during each season
- This is the strongest season overall for sales
- Long days and warm weather makes your house look its best
- Dry and mild weather also encourages buyers to book viewings
- A lot of competition
- Your home and garden will look great when well-lit and in full bloom
- Good weather for buyers to undertake viewings
- Many people are away on holiday during the school holidays
- You may have to reduce the price in order to sell
- There’s a rush during September when buyers hope to move by Christmas
- A sale may thus be secured quickly
- Sales slow down later in autumn
- Shorter, wetter days may discourage viewings
- The post-Christmas period is when sales start to warm up
- Going to market during February can have positive results
- Sales take a back seat during December as we run-up to Christmas
If you’re hoping to sell your home, use the experience and market expertise of Stanford Estates to help ensure a smooth and timely sale.