Does Christmas really affect the housing market? Traditionally this time of year is when peoples’ thoughts turn to Christmas and things can get put on hold, so is there any evidence out there that Christmas does affect the housing market?
According to HMRC, property sales fell by 5% in September this year whilst March saw the highest recorded number of transactions in the last 10 years. This increase was more than likely due to the introduction of higher rates of tax for additional properties which came into force in April so prompting a flurry of activity.
But despite the present economic climate and ongoing general uncertainty post Brexit and the American election result, we do have historically low interest rates and stable mortgage availability, plus there is still a demand for property and an acute shortage of supply. All of which encourages the property market throughout the year.
The Advisory.co.uk are of the view compared to other months in the year that December is considered to be a poor time to put your house up for sale. However, we would say when there is less competition around and properties put up for sale in November/December at the right price and in the right location will still sell regardless of what month it is, even though traditionally February, March and September are thought to be the best months of the year to sell based on HMRC data which shows activity is strongest in the summer months and there is a clear low point around the end of the year.
Sometimes during quiet times properties can lose the immediate impact of when they first come onto the market and you can’t ignore other factors that come into play in the later months of the year such as Christmas which can preoccupy people from as early as September when some shops introduce their aisles of Christmas related products – personally, I have to ask why are we forced into thinking about Christmas so soon? as surely everyone is well and truly sick of the whole thing before we even get to Christmas! This marketing tactic makes it difficult for a lot of us to ignore and you really have to make a determined effort not to become sucked into the roller coaster that is the lead up to Christmas, or run the risk of being labelled a ‘humbug’ if you aren’t seen to be joining in the frenzy. And what with the clocks going back at the end of October bringing dark days and the onset of bad weather, I suppose it’s easy to see why people start to flag a bit at this time of year and become less motivated to put their home on the market. But sometimes timing can’t be helped and for various reasons you may find you need to put your home on the market in November or December, but in our view, if it’s priced right and in a good spot then we see no reason why Christmas should have any affect on the sale-ability of your home.
So does Christmas really have an affect on the housing market? Personally, I think at this time of year people become less inclined to make the effort and perhaps do not have the energy needed to get their house ready for sale preferring to leave it until the new year when thoughts turn to a new start and before anyone thinks about another Christmas! If you’re already on the market and find your house is not getting much attention, then perhaps try adding a little ‘Hygge’ pronounced hue-gah. This is a Danish concept which has been massively popular this year, it’s roughly translated as ‘cosy’ and the shops have embraced the look which includes having lots of candles, sheepskin rugs, cosy throws making your house look inviting, cosy and warm.
The Christmas period is also an ideal time for those looking for a new home, having more time to check out Righmove, Zoopla and to bookmark properties to be viewed in the New Year.