Why the property market stalls at Christmas and 5 things buyers should expect in 2022

Martin Roberts gives tips for getting on the property ladder

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Christmas brings with it many distractions, homebuyers tend to put their searches on hold over the festive season. Traditionally this means the property market is very quiet at this time of year with sellers receiving little to no interest in their properties. But as the pandemic has caused a surge in house buying how will Christmas 2021 look?

The property market usually has busier and quieter periods based on the seasons.

But the lockdowns have led to pent up demand, which has caused property prices and buyer interest to soar, creating one of the busiest periods the UK property market has ever seen.

How busy is the property market around Christmas?

Christmas and the months leading up to it are usually among the quietest for estate agents.

Scott Clay distribution development manager at Together told Express.co.uk: “After the Autumn, buyers and sellers alike typically postpone property plans until the New Year to avoid the stress of moving in the run-up to Christmas.”

Sophia Guy-White, co-founder of Generation Home told Express.co.uk that the markets sees “a flush of interest from Boxing Day onwards.”

But she added: “The last couple of years has been anything but normal.

“Lockdown savings and the stamp duty holiday created a wave of buyers who had to contend with delayed valuations and conveyancing due to Covid complications.

“This has pushed completions into December and the new year.”

How busy is the property market usually in Spring?

New Year is one of the busiest times for estate agents and this year is expected to be no different.

First-time buyers hoping to get onto the property ladder next year may be disappointed, as Zoopla predicts property prices will rise by three percent over the course of 2022.

But for those looking to sell their house, January could be the ideal time to list their property as it’s “statistically” the best month to sell according to Bruna Pani from We Buy Any House.

Ms Pani told Express.co.uk: “In addition to the improving weather, the season of spring doesn’t hold any holidays or events that can present as financially challenging for those trying to get on the property market.”

“Spring is a great time to explore the property market, as people may be thinking about future events such as the enrollment of schools in September and creating stability in lieu of the winter months ahead.”

How busy is the property market in Summer?

Surprisingly the property market usually slumps over the summer – something experts have attributed to parents being unable to conduct property viewing over the long school holidays.

Ms Pani explained: “The summer months, in particular July and August, are usually the slowest months, due to it being the school holidays and the fact that most parents don’t have time to conduct house viewings or arrange meetings with solicitors.”

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted the seasonality of the property market?

It may take some time for the property market to return to normal, but Ms Pani believes the old seasonality of the property market may be changed for good.

Ms Pani said: “Although season used to be an influencing component of the property market, since the Covid-19 pandemic, people have begun to disregard the idea of successful selling months.”

But Jenna Buck, Co-Founder of EastHaus maintains that although COVID-19 has impacted buyer and seller demand, the seasonality of the property market has remained in place throughout the pandemic.

She told Express.co.uk: “Traditional agency tends to have two distinctly busy periods, the spring into early summer. Then you have the autumn into early winter period.”

“Although this trend has largely continued throughout the pandemic, it has blurred a little, particularly during the lockdowns.”

Mr Clay agrees with Ms Buck as he asserts: “While the pandemic has certainly led to a highly inflated market, it actually hasn’t done much in terms of seasonal activity.

“Looking beyond the impact of the Stamp Duty holiday and the pent-up demand following the reopening of the housing market last year, it’s highly likely the market will largely revert to type.”

It seems experts are still undecided as to whether or not the pandemic has shifted the seasonality of the property market, but they all agree the two busiest times of year for the property market is in the Spring and in Autumn, while the peak summer months and Christmas see the least activity.

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