Housing market news: Sell your home in January

30 Nov Housing market news: Sell your home in January

There’s a common myth that the housing market comes to a standstill over the Christmas season. Actually, the opposite is often true.

Research by online property sites suggests that plenty of people spend the week between Christmas and New Year searching property websites for their next home. According to housing market news reported by Rightmove last year, on Christmas Day alone there were nearly 14 million page views on their website. On Boxing Day it got even busier, with page views jumping to over 25 million. Views peaked on New Year’s Day, at some 38 million page views. “People clearly took advantage of some free time over the holiday season to look for a new home,” says Rightmove.

Part of the reason for the increase in property searches is that the festive period is often a crunch time for people who’ve postponed difficult decisions. Now that the New Year is in sight, it’s time to start making those decisions – and acting on them.

Such as splitting with a partner. It’s no secret that January is the busiest time of the year for divorce solicitors, who see a sharp increase in enquiries after Christmas. That’s because it has been one Christmas too many for couples in a difficult relationship, and the time has come to make a new start. That new start will include looking for a potential new home.

It’s also the time that a family takes stock and decides they want to relocate in the upcoming year. (It’s worth noting that, for a lot of schools, the deadline for applications comes in January, which means that families need to be in and established in their new property by then.) Parents use the time off work to do some research. There is also what’s dubbed as the “Christmas escapees”: those that eschew the Queen’s speech for something more appealing such as searching for their dream home.

In these situations, it pays for you, the seller, to have your property already on the market. In fact, buyers often complain that there aren’t enough houses on the market at this time of year. It takes time to put a house on the market – you need to decide on an estate agent, smarten the place up, tidy up the garden, and so on. This is not something you want to be doing alongside ordering a turkey and putting up tinsel. By getting it on the market before Christmas, you’ll be able to snag these eager buyers. And, if your house ticks all their boxes, they can arrange a viewing immediately, and may well bring their plans to move forward as a result.

The UK property market is ending its year on a high. Mortgage lending has risen by 30% in November, according to industry figures, with total borrowing for the year set to exceed expectations. It could mean that 2015 gets off to a flying start in the property market. Here at Place we predict an upswing in the market in the New Year. Partly because of the time of year, but partly because there will be a reluctance to sell from around March onwards, because of the election. We highly recommend that people get their home ready now!

Need help getting your home ready to sell? Call Place if you’re planning a move in Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles, Gerrards Cross, Rickmansworth and Beaconsfield. Call us on 01494 873663 or visit www.a-place.co.uk.

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