18 December, 2019
There are times when we all know that the housing market gets busy, like Spring and early Autumn, but you might be surprised to hear that one of the busiest times of the year for browsing property portals is late December through to the end of January.
Don't think that it's quiet over Christmas - popular websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove have lots of buyer activity, with millions of searches being carried out during the holiday period!
Property voyeurism and the festive season have long been bedfellows for many Brits. Once the excitement of Christmas Day is over, we have time to relax, reflect and think about our plans for the coming year. A house bursting at the seams with relatives will be the prompt for many to flock to the web and peruse dream properties where future Christmases might be held.
The hard facts
Statistics from all the property portals show that from Boxing Day, online browsing starts to increase, peaking in January once the Christmas period is fully over.
Zoopla alone registered an upsurge of 15 million site visits over the festive period of 2018/19, and that is forecast to rise by a further 1.26 million over Christmas and the New Year.
In addition, Google Trends show that property-related searches increased by anywhere between 50% and 100% on any given day between Christmas Eve and the dreaded ‘Blue Monday’ in late January.
Our friends at Rightmove have released data that shows property searches doubling over Christmas and New Year last year. As you can see, there is a quiet period around New Year’s Eve but then a serious ‘peak’ in page visits in the early days of the New Year.
So what does this mean?
Thanks to the popularity of the property portals, meaning we can house hunt online while the agencies are closed for Christmas, the Spring rush to move is starting earlier than ever.
In a nutshell - don’t hang around if you want to take advantage of post-Christmas surge in activity.
We accept that for the next couple of weeks, your mind may be on tinsel and trees and the last frantic bits of shopping, but it may still be possible to get your property on the market ready for at least some online viewings over Christmas, if you act fast.
Moving will be on the ‘to do’ list for many in 2020, so the quicker you can get your property listed, the quicker you’ll be able to take advantage of all those prospective buyers searching for their ideal new home.
At Michael Hardy, we use the services of the UK’s largest property marketing agency who guarantee an extremely fast turnaround (less than 48 hours) of professional property photographs, floorplans an EPCs – everything you need to get your home on the market asap. Contact us today for a free no-obligation valuation.
Why else is now a good time to sell?
If you’re still undecided about whether now is a good time to sell, you might want to consider a few other factors that will go in your favour. Although we do expect the market to pick up in January, we are still living through uncertain times which will cause some to sit tight a bit longer. There can be big prizes however, for those who do take the plunge before the market returns to its pre-referendum glory and prices start to rise again.
The current market does provide an opportune moment to upsize, especially if you are not expecting to move again in a hurry. You may not achieve your aspirational price for your property, but you are likely to get a greater reduction on house you are buying. For example, if you own a property worth £400,000 and accept a 10 per cent reduction (£40,000) but then also receive 10% discount on a home valued at £700,000 (£70,000) — you are £30,000 better off.
If you are selling your home through Michael Hardy, our experienced team can negotiate on your behalf in order to help you achieve the best price possible for your onward purchase.
As well as the potential for making big savings on a larger property, you can take advantage of the fact that interest rates are still historically low. Borrowing is as cheap as it’s ever been – there’s never been a better time to lock in an incredibly good mortgage deal.
There are some other considerations when selling in a slightly slower market. We find that those booking viewings with us tend to be serious buyers rather than window shoppers. In an era where we are all time-starved, you can avoid wasting hours on tidy-ups for viewings that go nowhere!
If you are thinking of selling early next year, what is clear from the statistics, is that the sooner you can list your property, the better.