What is the best month to sell a house UK?
When contemplating the best month to sell a house, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each season, as well as to understand which types of properties are most in demand during different times of the year.
In 2023, according to Zoopla, the UK housing market witnessed over a million property sales, with the average time from listing to sale at 38 days by year-end. However, with only 89,560 homes sold in the historically highest month; March 2023, it raises an important question: when is the best month for selling a house in 2024?
Selling your home ranks among life’s most stressful experiences. It’s natural therefore for sellers to seek strategies that alleviate this stress, whether by drawing in more buyers or researching the best month to enter the market. If you find yourself in this situation, rest assured.
This guide has been created to help you find the best month for selling a house, discuss the unique benefits of each month and the potential disadvantages of the seasons.
What is the best month for selling a house?
Identifying the best month for selling a house in 2024 is a complex and dynamic process, as highlighted by the 22% decrease in house sales from March 2022 to March 2023. Traditionally, March has been seen as an ideal month for quick and profitable sales, but this recent shift suggests that such historical trends may not always be a reliable predictor of future market behaviour.
One factor contributing to this change could be related to the nature of the data used by sources like Zoopla. Their figures usually reflect the average time taken for a seller to accept an offer from a buyer. However, this doesn’t account for the subsequent conveyancing process, which can extend the total time to completion by an additional 30 days or more.
Additionally, the decline in house sales might be influenced by the rate of transactions falling through after an offer has been accepted. In March 2023, for instance, over 25% of accepted offers did not proceed to completion, often due to buyers developing ‘cold feet’. This factor can significantly impact the overall sales figures and the perceived best times to sell.
Despite these considerations, it’s important not to discount early Spring, and particularly March, as a potentially good time to list your property. Housing markets are influenced by a variety of factors, and a downturn in one year doesn’t necessarily set a precedent for the following years so March may still be the best month for selling a house in 2024 – just be wary.
What month do most houses sell in the UK?
In the UK, the housing market experiences its peak activity usually during the Spring with the months of March, April and May often being the busiest and the best month to sell a home.
This trend is driven by a few things like better weather, which makes viewing properties more pleasant, and the desire of many families to complete their move during the summer to avoid disruption to the school year.
Data from the UK property market has consistently shown an uptick in both listings and sales during this period. For instance, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, the spring months have traditionally seen higher numbers of property transitions compared to other times of the year.
Additionally, the end of the financial year in April can also be a motivator for those looking to move for financial or tax reasons. However, it's important to note that while spring is usually the most active season for house sales, this can differ year on year.
What is the best month to sell a house fast?
The best month to sell a house fast is in May, right in the heart of the spring season. This is because the spring season offers milder weather, which not only makes property viewings more pleasant but also showcases homes in their best light. Lush gardens and enhanced kerb appeal during this time can significantly boost a property’s attractiveness.
Longer days in May provide greater flexibility for viewings, allowing potential buyers to visit properties at more convenient times, including after hours.
Spring, and particularly May, sees an increase in buyer activity. Many individuals and families began their search for a new home during this time, driven by the goal of completing the move before the summer, which is especially important for those with school age children.
According to data from 2023, the spring selling season, especially May, saw houses remaining on the market for an average of just 29 days. This shows the high demand and fast turnaround in the housing market during this period.
What is the best month to sell a flat in the UK?
If you are selling a 1 or 2-bedroom flat, terraced property or maisonette, your ideal buyer will be a first-time buyer, young couple or property investor. The best months for selling a flat, terraced property, or maisonette are January, February or September.
The rationale is that these buyers are often inspired by the desire for change in the new year, with some motivated by the idea of spending one last Christmas in their current home before moving.
Additionally, the period after the summer holidays is attractive to these buyers, as they might aim to settle into a new home by the upcoming Christmas season.
Property investors will be less swayed by the best month for selling a house, but it may still have some weight on when they buy. For example, if your flat is within a student hotspot, the investor may wish to turn this into student accommodation and will therefore need to buy around 5 months before the Universities start in September.
What is the best month to sell a family home in the UK?
If you are selling a family home, then you will want to target ‘second steppers’ or families who are upgrading from their first home. The best time to sell family homes is outside of school holiday periods.
During school holidays, potential buyers with children are likely preoccupied with childcare and other family activities, making them less available for house hunting. Therefore, selling outside of these times could attract more interest from this demographic.
What is the best month to sell a bungalow in the UK?
If you are selling a bungalow, then you will want to target either elderly individuals looking to downsize, or investors looking to turn it into a Buy To Let. According to The Advisory, the best time to sell bungalows is during the warmer summer months, from June to September.
This is because bungalows are often popular with older buyers, such as retirees or couples whose families have flown the nest. The summer months provide more comfortable weather conditions for viewing properties, which is particularly appealing for this age group who may be less inclined to house hunt during colder, wetter seasons.
Selling a bungalow in the summer months also means that their gardens and outdoor spaces may be showcased to their fullest potential, enhancing the overall appeal of the property.
What is the best month to sell a luxury home in the UK?
May or September may be the best month for selling a house, especially if it’s a luxury property. This is because high-end luxury homes will need higher quality estate agent photography and would benefit if all the flora are in bloom.
Spring and Autumn also mean that you avoid major holiday seasons, the weather is mild and buyers are still too motivated to secure a property before the end of the year.
However, it’s also important to note that most potential buyers for luxury properties are not swayed by the normal challenges of the housing market like mortgage approval or family holidays. If someone in the luxury property market wants to buy a property, they will usually purchase it outright.
What is the best season to sell a home?
Choosing the best season to sell a house can be a complex decision, as there isn't a universal answer that suits every seller's needs. Nonetheless, market trends often indicate that certain times of the year are more favourable for selling properties. Spring, typically March to May, and early autumn, especially September to October, are commonly regarded as prime periods for house sales.
Why these seasons? The more pleasant weather during these times makes properties appear more welcoming, and buyers are generally more inclined to envision their future in a new home.
Should you sell a house in Spring?
The best month to sell a home in Spring: March or April
Spring is particularly advantageous for selling houses and as we know April and May are equally the best month for selling a house. Longer days and gardens in full bloom greatly enhance a property's visual appeal. Additionally, the absence of major school or public holidays in spring means fewer distractions for potential buyers, allowing them to focus more on finding their ideal home.
Should you sell a house in Autumn?
The best month to sell a home in Autumn: October
Autumn can be surprisingly effective for selling houses. If the weather remains mild, the absence of major holidays can be beneficial. October, in particular, is known for facilitating quicker sales. The cooler weather of early autumn also motivates buyers to secure a new home before winter, creating a sense of urgency that can benefit sellers.
Should you sell a house in Summer?
The best month to sell a house in Summer: June
Contrarily, summer, particularly July and August, is often less suitable for selling properties. The summer holidays play a significant role in this, as many people are preoccupied with vacations and family commitments, leaving less time and interest for house hunting. According to estateagent4me, the average time to sell a house in these months is around 65 days, making them some of the slowest in the year.
Should you sell a house in Winter?
The best month to sell a home in Winter: February
Selling a house in winter, especially in the run-up to Christmas, can be challenging. People are often preoccupied with holiday preparations, which can overshadow their house-hunting plans. However, January presents a renewed opportunity for selling, as people start contemplating lifestyle changes in the new year. According to estateagent4me, January is one of the better months for a faster sale, averaging around 60 days.
What affects the best month for selling a house?
When considering the best time for selling a house, you will want to look at past historical data, and current market trends, but also look at the future events which could affect the housing market. An example of this could be a General Election, possibilities of conflicts, or the effects of pandemics.
Although the summer has long been seen as one of the slower seasons for selling a house, historically the period between March and July has been identified as the most favourable for selling houses, according to house sale data spanning 29 years, as reported by Statista.
Factors such as changes in the economy, shifts in local housing markets, and broader national or global events have all played a role in changing the UK housing market over the last two decades. Here is a list of a few things to keep an eye on:
The economic climate is unstable
Economic downturns, the rising cost of living or political uncertainties can affect people's confidence and willingness to make significant financial commitments, such as buying a house, so even though it may be spring, some people still may not be eager to snap up your gorgeous home.
Adverse weather conditions
For all these reasons spring and summer are normally favourable times to buy because of the weather. If the weather is less than ideal, perha[s there have been constant storms battering the country, people may be less inclined to look around. Harsh weather conditions may make it difficult for buyers to attend open houses or view properties.
The market is saturated
Sometimes after big periods of local development, if there's an oversupply of homes on the market, it can lead to increased competition among sellers, potentially making it harder to sell a property regardless of the time of year.
Interest rates are all over the place
As we have seen over the past year, fluctuations in interest rates can impact the affordability of mortgages, affecting the demand for homes. Higher interest rates may deter some buyers, so if the rates are forecast to climb, it will be harder to sell your home.
Local events and disturbances
Local events such as major construction projects, changes in local infrastructure, increased crime rates, planning problems or other disruptions in the neighbourhood can make potential buyers hesitant to invest in property regardless of the time of year.
National or Global Events
As we have all learned in recent years, external factors, such as political events, economic crises, or global pandemics, can impact consumer confidence and impact the fragile property market.
So how can you keep informed on all of these big, market-changing factors that may influence your home sale?
Check out popular property sites
By utilising popular online property sites such as Zoopla, Rightmove, and OnTheMarket, you can stay in the know about selling trends and prices in the area. These platforms provide a wide range of property listings and allow you to filter based on location, price range, and other criteria that could give you an idea of what people are looking for.
Speak to local estate agents
It is really worth connecting with local estate agents in your area. They have access to upcoming property listings and can provide insights into market trends. Registering with multiple agents can increase your chances of receiving property updates that are actually relevant to you.
Check out local auctions
It can be helpful to attend property auctions or look at online auction platforms. They may inspire you to go the auction route if you are eager to sell fast or show you what is and isn’t selling easily.
Don’t overlook local newspapers and magazines
A lot of people have never read the newspaper for their local area, but they are a font of information. Check local newspapers and property magazines for listings, property news, and market trends. Some places may have dedicated publications focusing on property sales in your area.
Talk to people
The best way to learn about the local area and understand what people want is by talking to people. Attend local property networking events or join online forums and groups where people are asking questions, discussing sales and opening dialogue around planning and growth. Networking can provide valuable insights and potential leads.
Check out the growing property space on social media
Agents and sellers are more and more present on social media. Follow estate agencies, property developers, and related hashtags on social media platforms. Some agents use social media to announce new listings and market updates that could inform your decision on when to sell.
Local Council Planning Departments
Hubs of bureaucracy they may be, but they are helpful to keep an eye on when deciding when to sell. Check with local council planning departments for information on upcoming developments or changes in the area. This can impact property values and market dynamics.
Property news sites
Stay informed through property news websites that cover the UK market and local developments. These platforms often write about market trends, government policies, and other relevant topics for buyers and sellers.
What is the worst month to sell a house?
The worst month to sell a house is January. Following the holiday season, people are usually readjusting to their regular routines, including work and school commitments.
This shift back to everyday life means potential buyers have less time and energy to devote to house hunting. Additionally, the financial impact of the holiday season may lead to a temporary decrease in purchasing power or willingness to make significant financial commitments such as buying a house.
In comparison to the more active spring months like March or April, property listings in January usually see a substantial decrease, often dropping to a third of those peak times.
What is the slowest month to sell a house?
In the UK, the slowest month to sell a house is December. The festive season significantly impacts the property market, as many individuals prioritise holiday preparations and family time over buying or selling a house.
This period also sees reduced activity from estate agent professionals and related services. Solicitors and various companies involved in the property transaction process often reduce their hours or close for the holidays, leading to delays in the selling process.
The shorter daylight hours and usually poor weather conditions during December further contribute to fewer property viewings, as homes are less likely to be seen in their best light. Additionally, people commonly wait for the start of the new year before embarking on significant life changes, including moving houses.
Is now a good time to sell a house?
While spring and early autumn are usually considered favourable due to better weather and longer daylight hours, there are regional variations across the UK.
For instance, in Yorkshire and the Humber, autumn emerges as the prime season for property sales. Contrastingly, in the North East, the optimal selling period begins from late spring. In the North East, early summer tends to be more favourable for house sales.
In the Midlands, a unique trend is observed with October being identified as the best month for selling a house. Down in the South of England, spring is usually the best time to put your house on the market, with London properties particularly benefitting from listing in the peak of spring.
It’s important to consider the specific characteristics and location of your property. Homes situated in sought-after areas or those that are well-maintained and in excellent condition often enjoy robust market interest, irrespective of broader market trends.
Additionally, understanding the current housing market in your area is important. In a seller’s market, characterised by high demand and limited inventory, you might find it advantageous to sell, potentially achieving a higher sale price.
On the other hand, a buyer’s market, marked by an abundance of available properties and reduced demand, could make selling more challenging and may affect the price you achieve.
How can you speed up a house sale in a slow month?
Securing a quick sale of your property, regardless of whether it’s the prime selling month, involves taking a structured approach. Here are some steps designed to enhance the appeal of your property and streamline the process:
Increase first impressions
This may seem like an obvious step, but the presentation of your house plays a major role in how fast it will sell on the open market. The better your property looks, the more people will be interested in it. The main changes you can make to your house are to make sure that the garden is neat, clean the windows, tidy the house and make sure that it smells fresh.
Whilst it can take effort, a fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference. Touching up any paintwork or wallpaper that is a little tired can bring your house back to life and have potential buyers lining up around the block.
Home improvements are a slightly more difficult area to tackle. You want to be able to make a difference to your home but you also don’t want to spend a fortune on repairs and changes. When people are looking at new homes, the areas that catch the most attention are kitchens and bathrooms. Whilst these will improve the saleability of your home, they are the most expensive areas to improve.
Choosing The Right Team
When selling a house, it is important for everyone to be motivated and quick. You will need an estate agent who is eager to sell, a solicitor who is ready to act quickly, and a RICS surveyor that can be at the property as soon as possible. It is also important that you pick a buyer who is motivated and wants to keep the sale moving along as fast as possible.
A cash buyer is the most effective way to ensure you have a smooth and quick sale. A cash buyer is the best route to go down for a quick house sale as they have the funds to buy your house outright and can complete the sale in a time frame that suits you.
Does this sound like something you would be interested in?
Here at The Property Buying Company, it is always the best time to sell your house! We pride ourselves on guaranteeing quick, hassle-free house sales no matter what time of the year.
We only require one quick viewing to make sure that our cash offer is accurate and as we are a genuine cash buyer, once you have accepted our offer that is the amount you get in your bank in full!
We are also a member of the National Association of Property Buyers and The Property Ombudsman, as well as being rated excellent on Trustpilot, with over 1000 reviews, allowing you to feel safe in our hands.
So, if you are ready to sell your house regardless of the season, give us a call or fill in our online form for a free, no-obligation cash offer which we could have in your bank as soon as you choose…