Is December a good time put your property up for sale?

The winter months have always been the quietest when it comes to the property market. And, while 2014 will have been the most active year in real estate since 2007, the growth has slowed heading towards the festive period. There have been a couple of reasons for this but that isn’t to say that December isn’t a good time to list your property.

When the statistics are compiled there will have been an almost 8% annual growth this year, with prices going up by more than £20,000. However, after a fruitful year, asking prices are starting to come down due to affordability and stricter mortgage criteria. Many believe that the demand is still there even if there are fewer properties currently coming to market.

Mini-boom hits the pause button

According to the Rightmove House Price Index for November, what can only be described as a mini-boom for much of 2014 has currently hit the pause button. This is sensible but it is important to remember that buyers are still searching, especially when it comes to second steppers.

Steal a march on the competition

The report shows a 1.7% drop in prices in an attempt to conjure up offers from the buyers but the published data showing Rightmove’s web traffic over the festive period in 2013 gives a reason to be hopeful when it comes to putting your property on the market in December.

While visits to the Rightmove website were low in the early parts of the month, bottoming at just over 500,000 visits on Christmas Day, there was a surge of activity coming into the New Year. This meant a huge 2.2 million hits on the first working day of the year, and it stayed high for early January from here.

Rightmove director, Miles Shipside, commented: “Selling is more difficult than it was earlier in the year, though the mini-boom experienced by much of the country has hit the pause rather than the stop button… After an active year it’s a sensible pause and, with the winter months approaching, sellers are hoping a cheaper asking price may spur those scarcer buyers into action.”

New Year, new buyers

This means that you can take advantage of the activity buzz by having your house listed before the holiday period. Festive surfers may be using new technology gifts to browse the internet and whet their appetite when it comes to property searching in the New Year. So, if you’ve listed in early December, you will have a home free from Christmas decorations for potential buyers to keep in mind.

The flood of activity online will likely be even larger this year as many people will, starting with Christmas Eve, have nine days of holiday to enjoy. With many leaving the early winter months to see how the New Year starts, there will be interested parties checking out your property online during this time. Also, with the General Election looming in May, the real estate market is set to have a leaner Spring than normal so deals will get pushed through sooner.

While prices may have seasonally dropped, the mini-boom may have paused and buying may have slowed, the indicators point to a surge of activity as 2015 begins. You don’t want to miss out.