When is the best time of the year to sell a house in the UK

Written on 4 January 2021 by Courtney Manton in Sales Market


Property experts have analysed sales data, and over the years, seasonal trends have emerged in the average number of days it takes to sell a home.

If you are thinking of selling your house, it makes sense to understand the seasonal trends in the property market so you can take advantage of the busy periods.

But each neighbourhood and each property type is different, and when it comes to selling your home, it is often more about when is the right time for you.

If you do have the luxury of choosing when to sell, this guide will help you understand the market fluctuations.

Best time to sell a house

When do homes sell quickly?

Spring (from February to June) is generally considered the best time to sell your house fast. The second-best time of year for a speedy sale is Autumn (Mid-September to October).

July and August are quiet periods in the property market as many people are on holiday. The run-up to Christmas (Mid-November to December) is traditionally the worst time of year to try to sell your property quickly.

The risk of putting your house for sale during quiet periods is that potential buyers may come to think that there is something wrong if it remains on the market for an extended period. You are also less likely to get a good price as buyers will expect to be able to negotiate the price down.

It’s not just the seasons, changes to stamp duty, interest rates and currency fluctuations, as well as political factors such as Brexit or a general election, can all have an impact on whether your home is likely to sell quickly.

Local factors also have an impact, long-term construction work near your property that can put potential buyers off. A quirky variation in the Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Belgravia markets sees homes sell well when wealthy Middle Eastern tourists visit London for pre and post-Ramadan luxury shopping trips.

Is right now a good time to sell your house?

Your estate agent will probably tell you that now is a fantastic time to sell your house. With the end to the stamp duty holiday looming they might be right. But you should also take your situation into account and choose a time that suits you.

What is the best month to put your house on the market?

Analysis by The Advisory, based on data from Rightmove, suggests that March is the best month to put your house on the market.

By ‘best’ we mean quickest. The Advisory found that that houses put on the market in March took the fewest number of days (57 days) to go under offer.

Spring is best time to sell a house

What is the worst month to put your house on the market?

Based on the Rightmove data, Mid-October to Mid-November is the worst time to put your home on the market with properties taking on average 79 days to go under offer.

The role of supply and demand

As well as the demand-side factors we have already discussed (volume of buyers, interest rates, exchange rates and political and economic confidence), supply-side considerations also affect the housing market. A shortage of supply pushes up prices and means houses sell quicker. Excess supply will cause prices to fall and homes to remain on the market for long periods.

Prime residential London property is always relatively scarce and tends to both hold its price and sell quickly.

Different property types sell best at different times of year

Property type is another factor that determines the speed of sale.

One to two bedroom apartments sell quickly in January and February as young professionals and couples seek to kick start their new year. This type of property also tends to sell rapidly in September, possibly because buyers have returned from their summer holidays and are keen to move before Christmas.

Family homes sell most slowly in the summer months, families with school-aged children are restricted to taking their summer holiday in July and August, so house hunting is put on hold during this period. Many find the prospect of house-hunting with the kids in tow distinctly unappealing, so these buyers tend to focus on term time.

Property types that appeal to the older market looking to down-size sell the quickest during the warmer months of June to September.

Selling a house in winter

Is there a best day to put your house on the market?

There have been several studies crunching the numbers in the hope of determining the ultimate day to list your property – and they all come up with something different. We advise our clients to avoid coming to market just before bank holidays and major political and cultural events rather than get bogged down on particular days of the week.

If you are interested, Which? analysed sales data of properties sold between 30th September 2015 and 30th September 2016, and found homes first listed on a Monday sold the quickest (176 days on average to sell). The Which? survey found that Sunday was the worst day to list a property with these homes taking on average 213 days to sell.

Other considerations

Is significant construction work planned near to your property, for example, new blocks of flats, major renovations to adjacent buildings or a mobile phone mast which will obscure the view from your property? These types of works are off-putting to buyers so it could be a good idea to wait until the works are finished before listing your property.

Don’t be pressured to put your home on the market before you are ready; it is much more important to choose a time of year that works for you. If you do end up putting your home on the market during a typically quieter period, we advise that you:

  • Put extra effort into presenting your property so it looks at its absolute best
  • Choose a good local agent who understands the market
  • Price your home competitively

 

Here at Best Gapp, we sell houses in the winter, spring, summer and autumn and are experts in the London’s prime real estate agents districts. If you are considering selling your central London property, contact Best Gapp today for an up to date assessment of its market value. You could be surprised how much it is worth.

Courtney Manton

Courtney is a Chartered Surveyor, the senior partner and owner of the Best Gapp group.

His special talent honed over the last 30 years is winning. Winning for his many clients.

Winning a Leasehold Enfranchisement case, winning a negotiation to sell or buy, winning a lower rent at review, winning a planning permission to enhance value, winning trust.

All articles by Courtney Manton

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