Choosing to sell a property is a significant decision, whether you are selling as a step towards buying a new home, selling as probate or looking to capitalise on an investment. There is a lot to balance from knowing whether it is the right time to sell, to getting an accurate valuation of your home and how long the sale could take to complete.
This guide is designed to help sellers decide if now is the best time to sell your property and how to get the best advice when you finally decide to go ahead with a sale.
Knowing whether now is the right time to sell your property will depend a lot on your individual circumstances and motivations. Homeowners, for example, will be thinking more about their growing families or relocating for work. Alternatively, landlords and investors will be looking more at their financial bottom line.
In each case the shape of the market will play a significant role in your decision making process and determine what options are available when selling your property.
Despite heavy media coverage and some experts even warning that house prices could fall by as much as 20% in 2023, the property market has proven to be quite resilient.
According to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) House Price Index (HPI), house prices fell 1.2% year-on-year as of October 2023. Estimates vary between 1% and 4% for house prices falling during 2024, which is a much more conservative estimate than what was appearing in headlines just a few months ago.
While home prices are often treated as a good barometer of market demand for properties, they don’t necessarily give the clearest picture. Zoopla* recently reported that the number of new sales agreed is currently 17% higher than in November 2022 and buyer demand is up 19% on this time last year.
The study also noted that first-time buyers are set to be the biggest group of buyers next year, accounting for as much as 40% of all sales. This is fantastic news for sellers looking to sell their property to upgrade to a larger home, as there will be a competitive market for their properties.
However, it should be noted that according to the latest figures from HMRC, the actual number of residential transactions for November 2023 was 22% lower than in November 2022. Completed transactions are arguably the truest indication of how the property market has performed during the past year, however despite the slowdown property experts agree that transaction levels will be closer to long-term levels in 2024.
Speaking to Property Industry Eye**, Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said UK housing transactions are a fifth below their five-year average, which has been the real story of this slowdown rather than a fall in prices as buyers adapt to higher rates.”
“However, given that inflation has dipped below 4% and mortgage rates are heading in the same direction,” he added. “We expect sales activity to be stronger over the next six months than the last six.”
Also speaking to Property Industry Eye, CEO of Propertymark, Nathan Emerson*** recently said that “his organisation is optimistic that the peak of the turmoil in the property market has passed.”
Further encouraging news comes in the form of The Bank of England’s (BoE) decision to hold its Base Rate at 5.25% during December 2023. This third rate hold has helped to encourage lenders to continue to bring mortgage rates down.
Although rates are still not at the low ebb that they have been in the past few years, it should be noted that they are now much more closely aligned to historical averages of 5.62% since 1995. Mortgages of under 5% interest have returned to the market, meaning that buying a new home (or remortgaging) is now much more affordable for many.
Buyers will find that the mortgage market is more active than at any point in the past year, with more products and better deals becoming available. Locking in a savvy deal at a good rate now is a great way to make sure mortgage repayments remain affordable over the next few years.
For sellers, this means that despite all the doom and gloom reporting of the past 12 months, now is actually a great time to have property on the market, with strong demand expected to come through during the New Year.
If you are selling a property in 2024, you’ll need to speak to property experts to make sure that you get the best legal and financial advice. Edward Mellor can guide you at every step of the sales process, from getting an accurate property valuation and conveyancing, to marketing your property and arranging viewings. As a fully integrated financial services, planning, conveyancing, and surveying partner, we can help you with everything you need to sell your home.
You may also want to consider selling at auction in 2024, as this can be an excellent solution if you are looking for a quick sale, selling at probate or seeking to capitalise on an investment. Property actions are becoming increasingly popular across the UK. As one of the largest and most successful residential and commercial property auctions in the North West, Edward Mellor is the perfect partner to ensure that you achieve the best price for your property.
If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact us to find your local branch. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and helping you take your property from FOR SALE to SOLD.
**Property Industry Eye – Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.
***Property Industry Eye – Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark