Is the property market as seasonal as it once was? My answer to that question is ‘no’ – it has been much flatter and steadier during the past 12 months. However, there are still some key points in the year which may be of interest to you.
At the end of January/beginning of February there tends to be a rush of people putting their property on the market as the festive period comes to an end and people decide to get moving with their plans for the year. This causes a marked increase in activity of viewers and sales/purchases in March and April. The Easter break does tend to cause a slight slow down but the market usually continues to rise until the end of June/beginning of July, marking the start of the school holidays. At this time there tends to be a drop off in both new houses coming on to the market and also potential purchasers until mid August, picking up again when the schools resume.
In November the market begins to quieten down again, however, there does tend to be a rush of people wanting to get their transactions settled before the end of the year. This was particularly noticeable in 2009 with an apparent rush to avoid the changes in Stamp Duty and VAT. December is one of my busiest months as far as property settlements are concerned.
The above is useful to remember, however, it is not something that should be used to dissuade general plans. People who are looking to buy should not stop looking in the summer. While there may be less properties coming on there is always the chance of picking up a bargain as the number of viewers are down. People who are looking to sell should be aware that general activity levels will be slightly lower in the month of July to middle of August; this means that there is less competition and it can be a good time to get a property on the market to meet the autumn rush. Likewise getting the property on as early as possible in January does mean that you can hopefully take advantage of the spring rise in activity.
Again, as has been a constant theme through many of these blogs, my recommendation is to speak to a property expert who will give you the correct advice and keep you right regarding timing and marketing strategy.