When Is the Best Time to Buy or Sell a Property?

Buying or selling a property is an anxiety-inducing process at the best of times; there are many moving parts to it, from property surveys to valuations, solicitors’ costs and estate agencies – and this is without considering the length of the chain you might be a part of. This process needn’t be more difficult than it is, though it can easily become so – especially when concerns about the right time to buy or sell emerge. Here we will examine the best times to buy or sell your property, in the hopes of keeping your moving process as stress-free as possible.

Seasonal Trends

According to Rightmove data interpreted by The Advisory, the best month of the year to put your house on the market is March, with the worst being November. The data shows the average number of days between ‘first-listed’ and ‘under offer’ or ‘sold’ – the quicker average sale being the better one. This is because houses that remain on the market for longer are more likely to sell for less than their asking prices; buyers might assume there is a problem with the house, or that it is still on the market for being overvalued. As such, the data gives us the general idea that Spring is the best season in which to sell your house.

Why might this be?

The spring months are brighter, and flowers in-bloom might give your house more of an allure than in other, darker seasons. But supply of houses for sale may also be a factor. Many house sales are conducted around periods of time where is easiest to commit to the stress of a move, over a period of months. The summer holidays are a good time for the vast majority of families to do this, owing to no obligations to the school run, saved-up time off work and clement weather to move in. March is a relatively quieter month to sell in, while still temperate, meaning you have less competition on the market when you come to sell.

Naturally, when it comes to buying, the inverse is true – November would be the better month to buy, owing to the ability you have to drive asking prices down on houses that have lay stagnant.

House Price Trends

With house prices rising all the time – and showing the strongest monthly rise since 2007 –, it’s tempting to say that now is the best time to sell your house. The housing market is volatile, and busts are harder than ever to predict. Larger houses in rural areas are appreciating value faster than flats, an important consideration depending on the properties you’re looking to sell – and if you’re looking to buy, you might want to wait until the market softens in the coming year to put your money down.

Considering an Upgrade?

If you are buying or selling a house in order to level-up your housing situation, exercise caution. Even if your current property has appreciated enough value to afford a larger property, the places you might be looking could cause you to buy in the same price bracket – potentially sinking more money into a new house, instead of capitalising on your increased equity. Rather than relying on a volatile market to ensure profit and a better home, or if you’ve just missed your ideal sale window, you could look to the rental market instead – and become a landlord to rent your current home. With a well-placed mortgage plan, you could move to a bigger home and generate even more income from your previous property until such a time is right to sell.

Love Belfast
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