Getting in before Christmas

Published by: Alex Maile

With the glitter and glow of bonfire night now a distant memory, we’re well into the Christmas run-in. It’s that time of year when we all rush around like crazy, trying to get everything done before the holiday period - from sprucing up our homes for our family’s arrival to ordering the turkey and buying all those lovely presents. And, for some of us, that also includes trying to complete a home move before everything starts shutting down. Time, though, is starting to get very tight, so, if that’s your intention, make sure you let us know as soon as possible and that you have any outstanding documentation all good and ready to go.

If, however, you’ve not yet put your home on the market, it’s not a bad time to do so. Record numbers of people regularly search for new properties over the Christmas period but as it takes time to get it ready for sale, you will need to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. You should be aware, however, that despite the improving outlook, the sales market is still very price sensitive. Rightmove is advising that if you put your home on the market at too high a price and then have to reduce it, it is likely to seriously damage your chances of a sale.

According to their data, a correctly priced property will find a buyer in less than half the time it takes if you have to make a reduction. And when you do find a buyer, the sale is also 50% less likely to fall through.

Whether you are planning on moving or not, there is no doubt that the stabilising of the base rate has been good news for us all and has renewed our confidence in the housing market. As a result, prices are finally showing signs of firming up and buyers, landlords and investors are able to plan their finances with considerably more confidence than they had just a few weeks ago. And that confidence is now clearly evident in the various property indices - Nationwide’s index was up by 0.9% in October, Halifax’s by 1.1% and Rightmove’s was up 0.5%. There is still some way to go before we can start claiming we are in a boom market, but at least we can now look forward to 2024 with considerably more optimism than before.

Right, with so much to do before Christmas, that’s it from me for now, but, as ever, I’ll be back again next month.