A landlord popped into our office the other day and spoke to me about a lovely three bed house she owns just off Poppleton Road. The tenants have put their notice in to vacate the property and she has, after much deliberation, decided to put the property on the market for sale. One point she made was that she had concerns about putting the property on the market for sale now given that the market may not be as strong with the height of the summer period and that more people aren’t looking and are rather spending their time on holiday rather than looking at property.
If you’ve heard that there is a better season to sell your property dear reader, then you may be surprised by what I am about to share with you. Looking at my faithful companion, the Land Registry Index, in the last five years, there have been a whopping 17,492 sales transactions in York (approx. 3,500 per year).
If you look very closely you will see that over the five years, there is a clearly defined level of seasonality with peaks and troughs as to number of York property sales transactions. It is almost like clockwork that sales start to build around April, through the summer period and fall off a cliff come the colder months. One could argue in this case that Summer is the better time to list your property to market given the captive audience and level of sentiment in the market as well as other factors e.g. longer evenings meaning later viewing potential, more natural light meaning better-quality eye-catching property photography etc.
However, as there are more properties being sold around this time, is there more competition in the market meaning you may not achieve as higher price as if you were to sell at a different time in the year? Perhaps it may be better to sell your property at Christmas time? After all, one of the busiest days for Rightmove and Zoopla in terms of engagement is Boxing Day would you believe? Between Christmas 2018 and New Year’s Day, Rightmove reported a staggering 25,147,701 page views on its website.
To further emphasise just how powerful market sentiment is, let me draw your attention again to the above graph, again, specifically, between February to April 2016. This spike is clearly indicative of one thing only, the Buy to Let Stamp Duty hike.
For the avoidance of doubt, since April 2016, anyone who wished to purchase a second property in the UK is required to pay an additional 3% stamp duty. Prior to April 2016, a vast number of investors undoubtedly would have been attempting to complete on the purchase of their properties in order to avoid the stamp duty hike.
I begrudgingly had to pay an additional £5,100 in stamp duty as completion of my own residential purchase completed only five days after the deadline due to delays with solicitors – I digress.
Whilst sentiment is a driving force in the property market, ultimately, you just need one person to put down an offer to buy your property and suffice to say the property is priced correctly, the marketing material is of a high standard, your agent is proactive in trying to get good quality punters through the door, the time of year is arguably, irrelevant. If you’re currently selling a property with an agent and they suggest that ‘the market’ has anything to do with why your property is not selling, please do send them the weblink to this article.
Alternatively, please give me a call and I will give you some advice as to things you can do to potentially expedite the sale.