Traditionally, August has not been a happy month for property sellers as it has long been deemed one of the worst months in the year to try and sell as so many buyers are tied up with school holidays, childcare issues, summer holidays and keeping cool on hot sunny days – house hunting has been low on their priority list. It seems that the 'tables could be turning' as the figures for August 2018 tell a very different story and property sellers are beginning to think that they could be missing a trick.
Certainly 2018 debunked the August myth as it was one of the busiest months of the year with an increase of 13% on the 2017 figures for residential transactions. Figures released by Buy Association show that in England, there were 117,240 residential sales – a 12.9% increase on the figures for June 2018. In Scotland, there were 99,390 property transactions meaning Scotland recorded the largest growth of 25.3%, but all four countries in the UK recorded a healthy increase on sales.
Average Property Selling Time in August
Interestingly, the average property sale in March takes 57 days, but last August, properties were averaging 65 days which is still impressive.
With these impressive figures from last year, is it worth considering getting your property on the market this August? Traditionally, September and October have been viewed as good months to start advertising your property and again in the Spring from the end of March onwards. If you are contemplating August for starting the sale of your property, ideally it should be early August if your property is aimed at families as many of them will be away for at least part of the month. If your property is suited to singles or couples – particularly if it is a flat – this is not quite so critical.
Having decided to consider August as 'the month for action' you need to consider who your competition will be. Certainly it could well be other sellers who want to try their luck in August, but it will also be sellers who launched on the market in the spring, their property has not shifted so they could be getting keen to sell before the end of Autumn – and could well drop their price to ensure that they do. It is essential to make sure that your property is fairly priced so that you can be competitive. Do not stick with a single valuation, get three from different estate agencies and do not be flattered by the highest priced because if it is too high, your property will stick on the market.
Certainly following the success of the property market last August, experts are having a rethink and have done some market research to establish what is prompting the change of heart and some interesting facts have emerged. It was found that whilst the six weeks of school holidays could make things quieter, as many families are taking life at a slower pace, it can lead to discussions about moving house and potential buyers browsing the market in a leisurely fashion, on their tablet, lying on a sunbed in the sunshine!
Advertising Your Property in August
There have been huge advances in the way property is advertised in recent years and all properties and their details can now be seen online – it is even possible for a 360º virtual tour to be taken from the same holiday sunbed with a glass of wine in your hand! An added bonus for potential buyers is that they can get moved very early in the academic year to minimise the upheaval on school age children and of course, the family can be nicely settled in their new abode by Christmas. In this day and age, remote property viewing is increasing in popularity and of course, communications with mobiles and emails have never been easier.
For house sellers, August is a good month for getting their property on the market as photographs and virtual tours look so much better with a strong blue sky in the back ground. Prospective buyers will see the property at its best with the rooms filled with light and even sunshine and the garden looking attractive with plenty of colourful flowers and smartly cut lawns and hedges.
One important consideration is that property buyers in August are more likely to be looking for a well maintained and presented property that really is ready to move into and you will dramatically increase your chance of selling your house if it is.
In the past, house sellers have felt that August is a bad month to start selling as estate agents are on holiday or enjoying some 'slack in the system' of course, with the changing trend, although they may still be quieter, the positive advantage is that they can give you more time and attention! Another big bonus is that if you launch your property sale in August, it might just catch the interest of someone on holiday in your area.
The long term forecast for August 2019 is certainly good, with plenty of warm sunny days but no record breaking temperatures which is good news as high temperatures can be off putting to potential buyers who want to feel comfortable when they are viewing properties.
Impact of Weather on Selling
Weather certainly does play a key role in the property market and looking at seasonal property sales in some key cities produces some interesting results. In Birmingham, for example, the summer has proved the key selling time in eight of the last ten years. In Liverpool more houses were sold in the summer in six of the last ten years, Hull, nine in ten years and Bristol, eight of the last ten years. Each city has recorded increases in the number of properties sold in August, so the pattern is definitely changing.
It is well worth talking with your local estate agent for their advice – especially if it is a well-established estate agency. With the calendar just about to flip over to August, you need to hurry to ensure that you can take advantage of this new trend and that your property is added to the number of successful house sales in August 2019.
As always, don't forget, House Buy Fast have a we buy any house service, meaning that we'll buy any property in the UK in any condition at any time in the year!