While the market isn’t expected to be as supercharged or as frenetic as 2021, with no stamp duty holiday, higher interest rates and slightly less favourable lending/borrowing conditions, it is still expected to be a very strong one in which it remains an excellent time to sell.
What’s more, in spite of the emergence of the Omicron variant late last year, there are no signs that the government will introduce tougher restrictions, which means more people will be keen to put their home-buying plans into action.
Some may have made a New Year’s resolution to move home or found that spending time at home over Christmas has convinced them that a different abode is what they need.
Here, with the above in mind, we outline why now remains a very good time to list a property.
Typically, January is the busiest month for the portals and agent websites in terms of traffic and visits. As such, it makes sense to list your home this month to benefit from of all the extra eyes on it.
With the kids now back at school and the festivities firmly over, buyers are likely to have more time and focus to zone in on their home-buying dreams. This, of course, plays to the benefit of sellers.
After all, the more buyers you have fighting it out for your property, the better your chances of achieving your desired asking price or above, and completing a sale in a good timeframe.
Further interest rate rises?
The Bank of England surprisingly decided to increase interest rates for the first time in over three years, just before Christmas. This was to ward against soaring inflation.
Despite the spread of Omicron and the introduction of plan B restrictions, the BoE felt dampening down rising inflation – which could soon reach levels last seen in the early 1990s – was a must, and outdid fears of the economic damage potentially caused by the new variant.
The cost-of-living crisis is set to worsen in April, with energy costs potentially soaring by as much as 50% and NICs increases, which could lead to the Bank acting again, further increasing the base rate from its current level of 0.25%.
Interest rate rises had been mooted for some time, but it had been thought that the emergence of Omicron might have put those plans on ice.
Usually, higher interest rates mean higher borrowing costs, which could in theory deter some buyers as they could face higher mortgage repayments once they’ve bought their home. However, many buyers will still remain eager to lock-in low interest rates – despite the recent rise, interest rates are still at very low levels, historically speaking – especially if further rises are expected shortly.
With the threat of further increases, buyers may be looking to act quickly, which will again play to the benefit of sellers if they have their homes listed. Motivated buyers seeking a speedy sale are a dream for sellers, and this cohort could increase as a result of continuing speculation over interest rates.
Warm and cosy appeal
Generally speaking, the popular thinking is that people far prefer to move house in the summer or early autumn months, when the weather is typically better and there are more hours of daylight.
While this holds a certain amount of truth, there are also benefits to selling in the winter months as well. It is much easier to show off a warm, toasty and cosy home that potential buyers could imagine spending lots of time in when the weather isn’t so good outside.
As a result, you may want to use your marketing materials to showcase the warmness and cosiness of your property, to improve its appeal to prospective buyers. Photos should be as seasonal as possible – if you happen to have a fireplace in your living room, for example, it might pay to take a picture of this all lit up to give your home that extra something.
It’s important, too, that you make would-be buyers feel comfortable and warm on any in-person viewings. While it’s important to prioritise ventilation to help prevent the spread of Covid, there are ways in which you can make your home feel warm and welcoming. Well-placed throws, cushions, rugs and blankets can help to give off that cosy vibe, while dialling up the heating in the few hours before someone visits your home can help to ensure they aren’t wandering around a freezing cold house.
There are, then, plenty of reasons to be positive if you’re looking to sell this January – from consistent demand to using the seasons to your advantage.
Here at Expose Property, we will do all we can to help you list and sell your home this winter, using our experience of marketing homes in Beckenham, Penge, Crystal Palace and other places in South East London to assist you on your property selling journey.