It has been long-accepted wisdom that the property market in Scotland peaks in Spring and in the late summer period around August. As a result, this is when most sellers tend to put their property on the market. However, as surprising as it may sound, Winter is actually statistically the best time of year to sell. Here’s why!
Demand Is No Longer Seasonal
Over the last few years, certainly since 2008, it would be fair to say that the housing market has not followed traditional patterns! As the market recovered from recession, the busy periods have stretched out across the year, with many estate agents in Edinburgh last year reporting no slowdown over the Autumn and into the Winter period.
In the first half of 2014, our property sales figures were almost identical every month, with the exception being a huge ‘spike’ in February. In other words, as many properties sold in January as in April! In the second half of 2013, the number of properties sold in August was broadly the same as November. February isn’t traditionally seen as the busiest month of the year and November certainly isn’t usually seen as as being as good a time to sell as August. However, the figures are there to back-up the claim that traditional wisdom might these days be completely wrong.
Why Sell in Winter? Surely Properties Are More Attractive in Spring?
If you’re a potential property seller, why should you sell in winter? In a word: ‘competition’. Or, rather, lack of it. Smart sellers will consider selling when demand is high but supply is low. If yours is one of the few properties available, with most other sellers still accepting the traditional wisdom that they should wait until Spring, you will have proportionately more potential buyers competing to buy your property.
This year we have an added element to consider when it comes to whether to sell in winter. The Scottish Independence Referendum on the 18th of September of course ended up with a ‘No’ vote. Regardless of what people voted, there was a good number of people waiting to see what happened before they made a decision about buying or selling a home. We covered this in an earlier article on our Blog: http://www.mov8realestate.com/2014/09/indy-vote-will-cause-spike-scottish-property-prices/
With more certainty, buyers who were sitting tight are now actively looking to buy. Equally, if you were sitting tight and waiting to see what the outcome was before putting your property on the market, you can more confidently proceed with getting things moving. We have incurred the wrath of some people for saying this but we genuinely have been speaking to dozens of people, post-Referendum, who have explicitly told us that they were waiting for the result before making a decision about what to do regarding their own home. That’s not a political position, just the honest truth.
So, Why’s This Winter a Good Time to Sell a Property?
Here are the top three reasons to go ahead and put your house on the market at this time of year:
- People tend to move home based on family circumstances – a new job, a new baby or downsizing after retirement. These events happen regardless of the time of year, so the demand still exists, regardless of the weather or the shorter days.
- As many people believe that winter isn’t a good time to sell, fewer people put their property on the market during the winter months which means less competition and more buyers for your own property.
- There is definitely a post-Referendum ‘bounce’ in the property market and that will continue through the winter as buyers who who were holding-off for the result are now confident to go ahead and buy without fear of what the result might mean for property prices.
If you are thinking of selling, and would like to know how much your property may be worth, or are thinking of buying and are looking for someone to act for you to note interest or to place an offer, please do get in touch – we will be delighted to help!