The unseasonal housing market

The Jackson-Stops Cotswolds team reflect on whether the time of year is still important when it comes to buying and selling houses.

For those of us who have bought and sold a few houses over the years, there was an accepted tradition that spring and autumn were the best times to market a house. Buyers were at their most prolific and willing during these periods and the winter months were when they hibernated. However, I have seen a change in this over the last few years, mirroring to my mind the change in which we shop. Gone are the days of Sunday trading or for those who are old enough to remember half day closing mid-week! Consumers, which include house purchasers, are no longer seasonal but are prepared to look in the summer or winter months. The statistics from last year appear to back this up. August, which used to be a very quiet month, was the busiest that Jackson-Stops had for agreed sales in the whole year, while January was one of the busiest for viewings.

Why is this change happening?

I believe that the shortage of good stock coming onto the market has also affected this trend. Buyers that we have registered are much more prepared to wait for the right property to come onto the market. They are not prepared to compromise on what they want or indeed go for a house which is ambitiously priced, even if this means some disruption mid school term or during the holiday period. Our advice to potential buyers is clear; move when you feel the time is right for you. There are plenty of good buyers out there no matter what time of year. House prices, as we have seen, are no longer having significant annual increases so there is little financial advantage in delaying for another year. Yes, a house looks better with leaves in full bloom and with bright sunshine but professional photography and decent presentation will get round this as will a good local estate agent who is well connected with its buyers.