The property market is one of the most exciting, yet ever changing markets to deal in. If you are thinking of selling or buying a property, it is always a gamble. When is the right time to make a move? This has to be the question estate agents are asked most; with homeowners wanting an insight into how the market will play out for them.
Simply put – the property market is unpredictable. It is a perfect balance of demand versus supply, combined with political influence, confidence, tax and life challenges. There is no textbook answer.
Myth vs reality
However, what I am clear on is that tradition is a myth, and there is actually no 'best' time of year to sell your home.
Of course, properties look more attractive in Spring, and gardens are likely to be more in demand when they can in fact be used. Equally there is always a rush for property at the start of the school year, but with international schools often operating differently, it isn’t just September that is the deadline. And of course, the promise of a first Christmas in a new home is always a natural driver to complete a purchase and be settled in before the year is out.
If an agent suggests that the property market is better at an alternative time of year, or that the reason your home isn’t selling is due to demand being higher after summer, this should ring alarm bells. I often hear of homeowners being advised about the ‘traditional property market’ and it is important we recognise, nothing is normal about the property market this year, nor has it been in the past few years.
We have seen a worldwide pandemic promote the importance of our homes to the forefront of our minds. Certainty about what might be possible in just a few months time has been removed, and restrictions are unpredictable. Previously, an election and change in government with potential tax implications might have been a reason to delay moving home, but now, with the normalisation of regular elections, this has taken away the threat of significant change. We’ve learnt to live with uncertainty.
Living in the now
The market today is strong. Buyer demand is up 20% on 2019. Our supply of property for sale is the highest it has been for three years, and yet we are selling over 60% more properties than the previous two years.
How long it will last is the question we are all asking ourselves? There is no guarantee the strength of the market today will continue across the summer. It has never been more important to forget tradition, and look at making the most of market conditions right now.
Polly Ogden Duffy, Managing Director
*Data source: John D Wood & Co. internal data, 2021.