When is the best time to put your house on the market?
If you’re thinking of selling your house, then this question has probably crossed your mind. There are certainly trends that show that the housing market is seasonal and can also be impacted by political and economic events, so when is the perfect time to sell your house?
With a general election on the horizon, we look at the best and worst times of the year to sell your home as well as whether or not you should list your house for sale before an election.
The Best Time to Sell:
Answer: Spring & Early Summer.
The months of March, April and May had the shortest ‘average time to sell’ according to RightMove data, averaging 60 days over these months in 2016. May was the best performing month, with the average house selling within 57 days (from instruction to removal of the property from the market / sale, subject to contract).
The Worst Time to Sell:
Answer: Winter / Christmas.
November, December and January were the worst performing trio of months, with time to sell averaging 68, 73 and 79 days respectively.
Many buyers decide to wait until after Christmas to resume their property search, knowing that the sale wouldn’t be completed in time for them to move in before the winter holidays. This explains why this time of year is one of the worst times to sell and why spring time is thought to be one of the best.
Better weather in the spring and early summer also means houses can look their best both outside and in, but be aware that should your house remain on the market for too long, summer is a poor time to sell as buyers jet off on holiday and put house buying to the back of their minds.
Should I put my house on the market before a general election?
The announcement of the snap election to take place on June 8th will undoubtedly have made many homeowners wonder whether now is a good time to sell their home – even if it is the height of spring and meant to be the optimum time to sell.
It’s not uncommon for buyers to put plans on hold until the outcome of a political vote.
Yorkshire Building Society economist Andrew McPhillips said: “The housing market is going through a sluggish period at present and a general election adds to the chances of it lasting longer.”
Past trends have shown a clear correlation between general elections and levels of sales in the property market, with a dip in activity pre-election, but a bounce-back in the number of sales post-election.
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