Until fairly recently it was widely believed that if you were thinking of selling your home in Edinburgh and the Lothians, the best time to act was during the spring months. The first couple of months of the year were thought to be quieter as people waited for some nicer weather and recovered from the festive period. Sellers would then spring (pun intended) into action during March and April with a view to getting their home move all tied up before the summer holidays came around.
If we look at the figures, they do lend some weight to the idea that it certainly used to be best to get your home on the market over the spring. At Warners, 32% of all homes sold in 2007 went under offer in the three month period from March to May. Were seasonality not a factor, you would of course expect 25% of sales to go through in any three month period.
A Shift to a Year Round Market
Interestingly, in more recent years the market has shown signs of becoming much smoother. Taking last year as an example, 25.3% of sales were completed during that same period - almost exactly what you would expect to see at that time of the year if seasonality were not a factor.
In simple terms, buyer activity has become much more consistent all year round.
A number of factors have led to the market becoming less seasonal. Following the downturn in the market in 2008 people typically only chose to sell out of necessity, usually because of a change in their employment or family status, or due to financial concerns. Seasonal factors were largely unimportant in determining whether someone put their house on the market.
Even as market conditions have improved we have continued to see more of a year round market. Part of this is because the idea that spring was a ‘better’ time to sell was always somewhat flawed. While it was fair to say that more homes sold during the spring months, there were also more homes coming onto the market. As we have noted before, it is this balance between supply and demand matters most when deciding when to move.
Local Agents Backed By Technology Allow Sellers to Move Anytime
Perhaps more importantly, as technology has improved people have become much more willing to sell their home even when they are on holiday. With tablets and smartphones almost ubiquitous at this stage, most people can always be contacted by phone, email or both. As a result, sellers are increasingly willing to put their home on the market safe in the knowledge that, even if they are not in the country, a good local solicitor estate agent will be able to take care of viewings and update them with offers and interest in their property.
Where sellers are also looking to buy, major websites like ESPC can keep them updated with instant email alerts about properties that they might be interested in. Should a property come onto the market while you are away on holiday, you can then just phone your solicitor estate agent and ask them to note interest on your behalf meaning that the property is unlikely to be sold without you having an opportunity to act.
High Demand Makes Seasonality Less of a Factor
Finally, and bringing things right up to date, demand for property in Edinburgh and the Lothians is currently outstripping supply. Many sellers are opting to hold off on putting their home onto the market until they see something that they want to buy at which point, assuming that the offer for their new home is successful, they will put their current property onto the market. In this scenario it is when the new home comes onto the market that will determine when the seller decides to market their own property rather than any seasonal factors.
As we look ahead to 2017, the expectation is that we will again see a much more consistent market with properties being bought and sold all year round. Although conditions are likely to continue to favour sellers, the buoyant market we have enjoyed over the last couple of years should help to encourage more people to put their homes onto the market which will go some way to address the imbalance between supply and demand that we have seen over recent months.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in 2017, feel free to give Warners a call on 0131 667 0232 or drop us an email at email@example.com and one of our team will be delighted to help you with any questions that you may have.