Last Updated: July 2023
After crunching the numbers and analysing the data, we’ve found the golden ticket:
“The best time to sell your house is during March, on a Monday”
The property market is currently a mixed bag, with prices remaining high but also appearing to be poised to fall at any moment. Let’s take a look at the cold, hard facts surrounding the current house-selling market.
- The 4 Key Factors that Influence your House Sale
- The Best Season to Sell your House
- Why you’re Likely Overestimating How Long it Takes to Sell
- The Best Month to Sell your House
- The Best Day to Sell a House
- Which Type of Property Sells Faster than Others?
- The Current Financial Climate & UK Property Market Trends
- Supply & Demand
- Final Verdict: When is the Best time to Sell your Property in the UK?
4 Key Factors that Influence a House Sale
Every house sale usually has to deal with external factors out of their control (sometimes they can even work in your favour).
Despite the fact that no matter when you walk through their door, every estate agent in the country will tell you that “now is a great time to sell”.
However, it’s worth noting if there are mitigating reasons such as time constraints, a cash buyers only company that will purchase your home for quickly could be considered; in reality, there are many aspects that have a genuine impact on the amount of time it takes to complete the deal and the final selling price.
These include 4 key factors and they are:
- The season, month or even day you put your house on the market.
- The location of the property.
- The type of property.
- Supply & demand, financial climate & other reasons
While house sellers can’t alter events such as political chest-beating, general elections, prorogation or the strength of the pound, what they can do is identify the best time of the year to put their house up for sale. This can be divided into the seasons and months that have historically delivered more house sales and brought about a higher final sale price. We can even drill this down to specific days of the week when a more favourable outcome is likely.
The Best Season to Sell your House
The research shows that the best season to sell house fast is agreed upon by almost every source: spring. According to the Home Owners Alliance, this is most likely because most people aren’t yet to head away for their summer break; Christmas is a long-forgotten event and, with the sun shining and Mother Nature at her most striking, homes and gardens generally tend to look their best.
Spring is often considered the best time to sell a house in the UK. Target buyers are more likely to look at properties as the weather improves and the gardens bloom. Buyers who want to house-hunting before the summer months tend to be more active in the housing market during this time.
Summer Months: June, July, and August:
The summer months might also be a good time to sell your home. Potential buyers have more time and desire to examine houses when the days are longer and the weather is nicer. Family-friendly properties are in high demand throughout the summer since families frequently migrate during this period before the start of the new school year.
Early fall (September or October):
The beginning of autumn can be a wise time to sell your home. The market is usually very active, and buyers who may have missed out on summer properties are still actively looking. Furthermore, the pleasant weather and autumnal hues can create a welcoming environment for property viewings.
Pre-Christmas Period (November):
There are benefits to selling your home in November. Even though the holiday season is approaching, serious purchasers are still in the market. You can attract interested buyers who want to close the deal before the end of the year by listing your property before December.
Post-Holiday Season (January and February):
January and February might be appropriate months to put your house up for sale after the hectic holiday season. After the winter break, a lot of prospective buyers started looking again for homes; thus, there is frequently less competition from other sellers at this time. It’s crucial to be mindful that the colder weather and any financial hardships caused by holiday expenses could have a minor impact on buyer activity.
Late Summer (August):
The later half of August, in particular, can be a wise time to sell your home. Serious buyers who have been actively looking throughout the summer may be more driven to make a purchase before autumn arrives. Still, some purchasers may be on vacation or getting ready for the start of the new school year. Utilise the warm weather that is still here and make sure your property is well-presented to draw prospective buyers.
Why you’re likely overestimating how long it takes to sell
We know the best time to sell your house is spring and summer. We also know from the graphic above the worst months to sell a home in the UK. Furthermore, thanks to some interesting data released by online property giants Zoopla we also know the average amount of days it takes a house to go under offer.
From the data, we have also discovered that over half of Brits overestimate the time it takes to sell a property. In data carried out by the online property sales giant, it shows that while most think it’ll take over two months to receive an acceptable offer, the actual figure is averaging just 50 days.
The Best Month to Sell your House
Online property portal Right Move has gone one step further than determining the best season to sell and narrowed it down to a month-by-month basis. Then, taking data from their own property listings, they decided the optimum months to put your house on the market, making it even easier to determine the best time to sell a home in the UK in 2019.
The Best Day to Sell a House
Consumers’ Association, Which, took this timing one step further, looking at whether the day of the week a property’s listed has any effect. And after analysing data recorded by HM Land Registry, it appears that it does.
The best day is Monday, with properties taking an average of 176 days to go from entering the marketplace to completion. But Sunday listings take an average of 213 days to complete the sale. So it appears that as each day of the week passes, there’s a significant effect on the time it takes to sell a home.
Which property types sell faster than others?
Of course, we can’t simply take the time of year as the only factor determining a quick house sale. We need to add the type of property into the mix – be it a family home, a first-time-buyer property, a retirement home, or bungalows.
Best time to sell a starter home: For 1 & 2-bed houses, flats and apartments, it seems that the best months for sales are January, February and September. This, of course, seems to fly in complete contrast to the data listed earlier about the best months to sell. This is solely due to your audience: those looking to buy their first homes, such as young professionals and couples.
- September features highly because this target market has returned from their summer break and wants to buy a property and complete it before Christmas.
- January and February are vital months thanks to a ‘new year – new start’ philosophy.
Best time to sell a family home: Family properties, in other words, 3-4 bedroom homes, are in demand for those with very different priorities (and responsibilities) than the first time buyer. The primary issue when it comes to dedicating time to a serious property search is:
- When are the school holidays? Because let’s face it, house hunting is time-consuming, relentless, and – with kids in tow – distinctly unappealing. So if you have a family home to sell, avoiding the summer, Easter and Christmas holidays are key factors to consider when it comes to clinching a fast house sale.
Best time to sell a retirement home/bungalow: Retirement homes and bungalows, on the other hand, attract a very different type of buyer. This older, generally down-sizing target market has progeny that has flown the nest, have more time on their hands and are less prone to making snap decisions.
- The best time to sell this type of home is during the warmest months: June to September.
- The colder and darker months of the year will see this audience happily hunker down, leaving the house hunt for when the weather’s likely to be more conducive to days out looking for that perfect retirement property.
The Current Financial Climate & the UK Property Market Trends
OK, so let’s get this elephant in the room out in the open once and for all. Yes, we live in ‘interesting’ times. And yes, the property market is currently experiencing a severe case of jitters. However, according to the latest data from the ONS house prices have risen by 4.1% in the previous year.
Property expert Kate Faulkner of propertychecklists.co.uk, says:
Over the last year, we’ve seen a stagnation in the market in areas such as London, the South and the East (which had all overheated), and this slowdown has spread to other places over the last few months.
I don’t think buyers should be put off by fears of a house price crash as long as they mitigate the risks. If you bought a property now, even if it did drop in value in the short term, the market would probably have corrected itself by the time you wanted to move (assuming you stayed there for at least five years)
Having a solid understanding of the anticipated market trends can help you make wise decisions when selling your home in 2023. The following trends could influence the UK housing market at this time:
The UK housing market has experienced price increases over the years, and experts predict that the trend will continue in 2023. Increasing demand, a shortage of available homes, and low borrowing rates are some factors that could raise real estate prices. Regional differences, with some areas seeing quicker price growth than others, are expected to continue.
The average UK house price annual percentage change was 4.1% in the 12 months to March 2023 (Figure 1), and The average UK house price was £285,000 in March 2023.
So while we do, of course, need to consider current events as a contributory factor as to when is the best time to sell your house, what determines the average amount of time it takes for a property to change hands are the general cyclical effects that we can now look at in greater detail.
Supply & Demand
The housing market, of course, is not immune from the effect of supply and demand. Russell Galley, Managing Director of the country’s largest mortgage lender, The Halifax, said that:
There is no doubt that the next year will be important for the housing market, with much of the immediate focus on what impact Brexit may have. However, more fundamentally, it is key underlying factors of supply and demand that will ultimately shape the market
The fact that relatively few properties have been put on the market in recent times, combined with continuing low mortgage rates and (finally) some growth in wages, has been a critical factor in maintaining house prices over recent times.
Other key issues to consider when selling your house would be any significant work in the vicinity. Let’s face it, getting caught up in a 3-way traffic light rush hour disaster outside a property will put anyone off. So be sure to find out if there are any such works in the pipeline.
These can be searched on www.gov.uk, including building new roads and major construction projects.
Reasons for Selling your House ‘Out of Peak’ Season
Of course, even considering all of the above, life doesn’t always align to allow putting your property on the market at the time experts believe to be the ‘best’.
Sometimes, you need to sell your house and sell it fast, whatever the time of year.
But don’t despair because house sales come with unique advantages outside the peak selling times. Such as
- Most other people are playing the strategy game, meaning fewer properties are on the market. This equals less competition for you.
- The buyers are likely fewer ‘tyre kickers’ and more those with the means and funds ready to make a deal.
- All the professional services (solicitors, surveyors etc.) are less busy, so transactions are generally smoother and faster.
Final verdict: When is the Best time to Sell your Property in the UK?
On paper, generally speaking: The best time to sell your house is during March, on a Monday.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all way to determine the best time to sell your house. Yes, we can say that more homes sell at a particular time (spring), but when it comes down to it, house buyers search for properties at all times of the year. And you only need one for a successful sale!
Of course, personal circumstances often determine how fast you need a deal to go through. The rise of house buying companies has been one such answer, providing a quick process that can, in most cases, complete a sale within 7-14 days. This might not be a scenario to suit everyone, but a reputable Property Ombudsman (TPOS) and National Association of Property Buyers registered company with positive reviews could be the answer for a quick sale.
In short, unless there’s a pressing need to sell, then yes – determine the optimal time to put your house on the market and the relevant factors to your property type. A strategic approach will succeed no matter the time of year or the financial climate. And then? Well, you’ve got the fun of the move to look forward to; good luck!