The here and now of the Christmas Property Market

The here and now of the Christmas Property Market

It’s been quite a year for the local property market. Having started steadily it quickly gathered pace with demand significantly outstripping supply. In the first nine months of the year sales’ times tumbled and prices rose fast, at one stage averaging close to 15% above home report value.

Then came the infamous Truss and Kwarteng mini budget and the ear-splitting shriek of brakes being applied. As I write this however, we are thankfully beginning to see a return to some sort of normality and sales are once again picking up. Many five-year fixed rate mortgage deals are back at around the 5% rate with talk of them falling further. For a brief period, the gamble that was Trussonomics saw rates at over 6%.

So, in terms of what this more turbulent year means for the here and now and anyone contemplating a move, what is the market telling us? Does it make sense this close to Christmas and with inflation still rising to take the plunge and get into the market right now or does it make more sense to let the glitter settle and see where we are come mid-January? With Christmas around the corner surely smart sellers just hunker down, wrap themselves in the duvet and box sets and wait until January or even the Spring before making their move?

Well, no; quite the opposite in fact. As counter intuitive as it seems now is in fact one of the very best times of year to come to market. Don’t believe us? Then here’s why?

Selling is essentially about viewers. You need the right ones at the right time. Getting viewers is about a number of things including the correct pricing, good presentation and a pro-active agent. Yet even with these key elements in place, at busy times of the year sellers face a lot of competition for viewers and to be seen and heard above the clamour. Whilst this was not so much of a factor earlier this year when demand exceeded supply, now that the two are closer in sync and selling times are increasing noticeably competition for viewers is once again fierce.

The good news is that come late November the casual, less motivated viewer turns their attention to Christmas, starts shopping and planning festive fun. As November closes many sellers traditionally see this as their cue to put thoughts of selling on hold concluding, that like ice on salted driveways, their potential buyers have melted away for now.

Now whilst it’s true that there are fewer viewers around, those who remain are motivated and keen to buy. They may have sold their own home but have yet to find their new one. They may be about to relocate, start a new job in the New Year and they need to find a home. Yet just as their need becomes more pressing they find there are fewer homes coming to market for them to view which is the number one reason why selling in November and December is a great time to do so.

Year-end viewers are serious, focused and dedicated to the cause. To use the parlance of the motor trade there are fewer “tyre kickers” about.

What’s more Rightmove, Zoopla and ESPC all report that in the last decade the highest number of online property searches have taken place between 26th December and 5th January. Whether that’s due to cabin fever setting in, a realisation that one’s current home can’t accommodate a full-on Christmas get together or sadly that a relationship has run its course is unimportant. The fact is that buyers are thinking about moving and doing something about it but if you’re not on the market then you’re not showing up in those searches and you’re missing out. Your near neighbour who had the foresight to get to market has potentially just bagged your buyer! Wait and follow the herd in mid-January and you’ve got a whole lot of competition.

OK so that’s all very well and good you say but it’s a bit late now isn’t it? Well, no and to keep my metaphors seasonal, if you get your skates on there’s still plenty of time to grab the reindeer by the antlers and to get your home on the market before Christmas. And don’t worry about viewers wanting to view when the kitchen is a bit of a bomb site and you’re in all-day jammie mode. You won’t need to take viewers between the 23rd and the return to work on the 4th January but instead the bots and booking systems we and the portals utilise will simply harvest viewing requests and advise would-be viewers that they will receive a priority call back when business resumes meaning you start the year with a handful of motivated buyers whilst your competition is still weeks away from coming to market.

So what have you got to lose? Nothing and with our Advent offer you’ll find elsewhere in this newsletter you have a fair bit to gain. Call 01383 629720 today to arrange your FREE pre-sale valuation.

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