If you have been anywhere near the High Street lately you'll have heard the Christmas music, spotted the Christmas lights and seen all the sparkly window displays tempting you into the shops. Can you believe we are just a month away from the big day? Christmas will all be over in less than five weeks now! So if you're wondering whether to market your property now or wait until the new year, we've done the research and the answer may surprise you.
The property market relies upon fluidity and activity in order to be regarded as healthy. This year the number of property transactions has been light, based on a scarcity of supply. This has itself fed the problem with sellers being reluctant to put their property on the market, as they've had a limited choice of onward purchase.
But this seems to be easing. Last month, HMRC reported a 1% increase in transactional volumes – a small but significant step in the right direction that compares very favourably with the 4.3% drop during the previous month (although still 8% down compared to this time last year).
There is a feeling that with all the current woes of the world, the market might just be beginning to peak, with an imminent interest rate rise a very real possibility. According to one national firm of estate agents, buyer demand is down 22% on the year (although we hadn’t noticed) and there are still nine buyers registered for every property available.
Rightmove tells us that the price of property coming to market is on average down 1.1% this month, which is lower than the 1.8% six year seasonal average. This may indicate a degree of resilience based on low volumes supporting prices. First time buyers (average age 33) are feeling the brunt of this, with a monthly rise of 1.7% for one or two bedroom flats.
The announcement in the autumn statement by the Chancellor that the government is to inject £2.3 billion into housing is certainly to be welcomed, although is unlikely to have any effect on actual supply for at least two to three years.
Annually, the Land Registry reports average house prices across the UK are up 7.7% at £217,888, reflecting some stability in the market during a politically turbulent year.
Stability and confidence, which are key to the security homeowners have in the UK property market, appear to be in abundance, making this as good a time as ever to consider a move. And, in view of the intense portal viewing activity over Christmas (Boxing Day sees double the amount of users on Rightmove than any other time of year!), it might not be a bad idea to consider putting your property on the market the same day you start your Christmas shopping. Click now for a free online valuation.
Why not contact us for some well-considered, straight-talking advice? You might be pleasantly surprised!