Should I sell my house? Estate agents pretty much always suggest it’s a good moment to sell whatever the time of year – but right now they are absolutely on the money.
Indeed, my suggestion is that if you’re considering selling this year you should do it sooner rather than later, for several reasons.
1. Is now the best time to sell a house?
The demand is high – for now. The Halifax says average house prices have increased 1.4 per cent in a month, 2.3 per cent in a quarter-year, and a jaw-dropping 11 per cent annually. Much of that is down to supply – that’s the number of homes on the market – lagging behind the number of buyers out there.
However, I expect some buyers to drop away later this year.
2. Selling your family home in the catchment area
This doesn’t apply to everyone, of course, but if yours is a family home in the catchment area of a good school you have maximum sales potential and price leverage right now. Buyers will be keen to get their new address registered, and perhaps even have moved in, ahead of the September start to the school year.
3. The Platinum Jubilee
This sounds like an odd reason for a market slowdown but the celebrations in early June are bang in the middle of the traditional spring/summer sales season. The special Bank Holiday is longer and more active than most – there will be lots of street parties – so there will be distractions to keep buyers away from viewings.
4. The return of foreign holidays
House viewings and transactions slow over summer at the best of times. This coming summer, after two years of on-off travel restrictions and lockdowns, we’ll see a return to European and long-haul holiday travel rather than the one-week staycation. Again, these will mean would-be buyers are busy doing other things.
5. Inflation and the economy
I don’t need to tell you how prices have risen, but many predict worse may be to come. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is warning that households with mortgages face paying £1,000 extra per year as interest rates rise during 2022, while economists forecast annual inflation to near 10 per cent this autumn and – wait for it – there’s another leap in energy costs anticipated for October when the price cap lifts once again.
6. The pundits
I’m sceptical about precise forecasts concerning house prices – buying a home is often an emotional as much as a financial transaction. But a wide range of analysts predict a slowing housing market later this year and, small price falls in 2023 and 2024.
These reasons are not causes to be gloomy, but combine to form a call to action – if you want to sell this year, get a wiggle on! We’re not predicting a house price crash but to optimise your sale chances and asking price, go sooner rather than later.
And if you decide to take the plunge, good luck!
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Last Updated: May 13th, 2022