When is the best time of year to buy a property?

As many of us start to emerge from the winter months of hunkering down while it’s cold and dark we begin to look forwards to the longer days and warmer weather ahead. How we live also reflects our sentiments towards the buying and selling of homes. While winter is often a quieter period for moving home – spring is very much when things start to ramp up again.

New data from property website Rightmove reveals that March is the strongest month of the year for prospective sellers to come to market.

The study, which compared home-moving data over the last five years, excluding 2020 to account for the closed market periods, showed March is the month when the highest number of buyers are enquiring about each property available, on average.

This means competition between buyers is at its strongest in March on average, providing an opportunity for many would-be sellers to have a good chance of selling their homes.

Currently, approximately three-quarters of all properties are successfully finding a buyer, compared to a historical average of around half, and homes are finding buyers in an average of 39 days, compared to an average of 59 days over the last five years.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments: “Spring has long been known as a peak point in the housing market calendar, with many buyers and sellers trying to get into a new home for the summer months. However, this interesting study confirms that for those considering selling this year, March has historically been the best time to come to market on average. For any sellers who might be conscious of coming to market at a time when the number of new listings has traditionally been high, the data shows us that the level of demand in March means sellers are likely to meet with multiple potential buyers competing for their home.

Those thinking of selling are also likely to be aiming to buy a new property and may be tempted to begin the search for their new home before listing their current one on the market. Due to the speed and competitiveness of the market, agents are reporting that it continues to be of high importance for those actively looking to become ‘power buyers’, to give themselves the best chance of securing their dream home. This means making sure they have their current property on the market or preferably sold subject to contract before beginning the search for their next home.

This spring is certainly shaping up to be a busy one, with buyer demand, new listings coming to market for sale, and valuation requests to estate agents from future sellers all continuing to increase compared to last year. Gardens are likely to be high on the list of priorities for home-movers, as outdoor space continues to be a strong consideration factor when deciding on a next home.”

Spring is also a popular time for parents with school-age children to start house hunting. With the new school year beginning in September, starting your house search in spring allows buyers time to find the right property and for the transaction to be complete by summer ahead of the new term.

However, if you’re looking to snap up a bargain then November and December are likelier times of the year to get a good deal. Sellers that aren’t in a rush to sell may delist their properties over the festive period leaving those that are keen to secure a sale. This could be a great opportunity for buyers to negotiate a lower offer to ensure their sale goes through more quickly.

July and August are also traditionally quieter months for the property market due to the better weather and with many families preoccupied with the summer holidays. Therefore, any properties that haven’t been sold during the spring rush may have sellers looking to strike a deal to get their property off the market, especially if they’re reliant on the sale of their home for their onwards purchase.

In summary, April until June is when you’re most likely to find the biggest selection of properties to choose from. You just need to remember that competition is rife during this time, and you should be willing to pay a higher price to secure your dream home. However, if you’re willing to wait you could save yourself some money by looking to buy later in the year.

If you’re looking to move home and/or sell your existing property, get an instant conveyancing quote from Enact conveyancing today. Our expert team of licensed conveyancers are on hand to support your property transaction from start to finish.

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