Autumn officially starts on Sunday 23rd September this year and is the season of falling leaves, conkers, hot drinks and Bonfire Night.
It's also the time of year after the summer holidays and the children returning to school that thoughts turn to our homes and DIY projects or moving. Christmas is the popular goal for extensions to be finished or the house move completed!
The housing market fluctuates through the year but can be divided into two periods with noticeably higher property prices and more transactions in spring - early autumn and lower prices and fewer properties on the market in the 'cold season' of winter.
Summer can be a variable time for the property market as many families are away on holiday, but others want to relocate before the new school term begins in September. This seasonal trend is mirrored in countries across northern Europe and in the United States. But how is the property market affected in the autumn in the UK?
More properties to choose from
With many more people putting their house on the market in the spring– autumn period, there is - what is known in the trade - a 'thick market', meaning that there is much more choice for home buyers.
Finding the ideal house for individual needs is easier and less time consuming as there are more properties on the market to choose from and buyers needn't settle for 'less than ideal' which can happen when the market is flat with fewer properties to choose between.
Noticeably higher prices
Interestingly, there is a definite seasonal fluctuation in house prices with properties going on the market at the start of the 'hot season' in the spring with higher price tags than they would have in the 'cold season' when there is less movement in the market.
House buyers who are keen to buy and get moved in the summer/ autumn may pay a higher price for the convenience of moving during the good weather.
The chance to get a 'good deal'
House hunting in the autumn can have its advantages too as you could well find a property that has been on the market for a few months. The house seller will be asking the 'hot season' price but as the weeks pass by and the 'cold season' approaches, they may well accept a 'cheeky' offer because the competition for houses is beginning to wane by October and they want to clinch the deal and get moved in time for Christmas.
A good time for sellers too
Autumn is a buoyant time in the property market and if you decide to put your house on the market at this time, it will most likely generate good interest. It is a good idea to do this in the early autumn with the hope of securing a buyer swiftly as many will want to complete and move in before the winter.
Estate Agents are usually not quite as busy as they were earlier in the season so will be able to devote a little more time to you and your property.
First impressions always count so although your garden will not have an array of colourful summer flowers, it can nevertheless look clean and tidy which is important as 40% of buyers have decided whether they like a property by the time they have made it to the hall!
Whilst the national seasonal differences are well known, there can be regional differences too.
Check these out with your local estate agents before you take the plunge and selling your home on your autumn wish list - along with a cosy jumper and mug of hot chocolate...