January 31, 2024

Is now a good time to sell your home?

Words by

Abi Radford

Are you thinking about selling your home but not sure if now is the right time?

Making the decision to sell your home isn’t easy, and neither is figuring out when the best time to sell actually is. A quick Google search brings up contradictory advice from a whole host of sources. Some say sell now before prices drop, some say wait until Spring, others say wait until 2025. So, how do you figure out who is offering the right advice?

Ultimately (spoiler alert), the best time to sell depends on your personal circumstances. If you’ve found the dream home for your quickly expanding family it’s likely that you’re looking to sell as fast as possible. Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell your second home to fund a holiday or two – you probably have a bit more time to consider your options.

Despite this, there are some things to think about when it comes to putting your home on the market. Read on to find out more about:

  • The economy in 2023 and predictions for 2024
  • Mortgage rates are dropping
  • Isn’t Spring a good time to sell?
  • Brighton & Hove is a little bit different
  • We will always offer honest valuations of your home
  • How to prepare your home for sale

The economy in 2023 and predictions for 2024

Despite predictions of a crash, house prices proved resilient last year – especially in the South East where prices softened by far less than expected. However, as we leave the first month of 2024 behind, continued concerns over falling house prices and high mortgage rates may leave you wondering whether now is the right time to sell your home.

Rightmove, the UKs number one property portal, indicated in its January 2024 House Price Index ‘a promising start to the year as buyer and seller activity jump’. Although average house prices are 0.7% lower than this time last year, average new seller asking prices have increased by 1.3% since December 2023. This is the biggest December to January increase since 2020.  Furthermore, Rightmove states that the number of potential buyers contacting estate agents about homes for sale in the first week of 2024 was 5% higher than in the same period last year.

Time will tell with what happens with the economy in 2024, especially with the upcoming general election, and we will certainly be keeping a close eye on it. However, there’s cautious optimism in the air when it comes to the property market.

Mortgage rates are dropping

High mortgage rates have been the talk of the town for what feels like forever, but we’re hoping that the downward trend on interest rates is here to stay. Lenders are heavily affected by the Bank of England’s Base Rate which has risen 14 times in a row to curb soaring inflation. This rate has been at 5.25% since August 2023 but financial markets are predicting that it may be at its peak, and will be dropping quicker than originally thought – partly due to lowering energy and fuel prices in international markets.

Even though average mortgage rates are still historically high, several lenders dropped their rates as we entered 2024 and there’s encouraging signs that buyers are gaining confidence. The rates for mortgages fixed over five years have tumbled in response to growing optimism about the fall in inflation. At the beginning of January HSBC announced a sub-4% 5-year fixed rate.

When we spoke to Luke, Senior Mortgage and Protection Advisor, at OnPoint Mortgages, he said that 2024 holds promise for those entering the real estate arena:

Inflation is on the decline, marking a pivotal shift in the lending landscape. The decrease in inflation translates to more affordable lending, rekindling buyer demand. This bodes well for individuals seeking to step into the real estate market, making homeownership and investment opportunities more accessible.

He continued: “One of the key positive impacts on the horizon is the stabilisation of property values. With inflation easing off, the market is witnessing a welcome shift towards value stability. Lower mortgage costs are emerging as a game-changer, providing a boost to potential returns for investors. This confluence of factors sets the stage for a real estate environment where both buyers and investors can thrive”.

So, what does this have to do with you as a seller? Only with the potential for more individuals to step into the real estate market, do sellers have the best hope for getting a fair price for their property.

Isn’t Spring a good time to sell?

If we take the question of ‘when is the best time to sell’ literally, then yes, Spring often comes out on top and the lead up to Christmas tends to be a no-no when it comes to putting your house on the market.

However, the best time to sell is actually when there are the most buyers looking and you’re likely to get the best price when this coincides with the least amount of competition on the market in your area. This sweet spot differs depending on the size and location of your property.

Different types of property typically sell best at different times of year. For smaller one and two bed apartments, buyers are often looking at the beginning of the year with ‘New Year, New Me’ intentions.

For larger family homes, buyers will avoid searching during school holidays when they’re either abroad or having to entertain a houseful of kids. However, there’s an anomaly here. Those who are relocating for school purposes might actually be looking in the summer in order to move in before the new term starts in September.

If you’re looking to sell a stunning £5m home with a pool, you probably sit outside of the market norm too. Your buyers will likely have the money and intent to move when they want rather than be dictated by the 12 month calendar.

Brighton & Hove is a little bit different

Team stood outside smiling

According to Rightmove, properties in Brighton had an overall average price of £506,357 over the last year with sold prices similar to the previous year and up 8% on the 2021 peak of £468,633. This is compared to the South East which had an overall average price of £483,242 over the past year with sold prices similar to the previous year and up 6% on the 2021 level of £457,411.

Brighton & Hove is often referred to as ‘London by the sea’. Whether someone is purchasing a second home or relocating their family – it’s a very popular destination. Georgia, Director and Co-Founder of Number Twenty Four, has worked in Brighton for most of her career. She says:

We have seen a changing market since 2020, and a huge increase in buyer demand. Since the pandemic people’s lifestyles have changed and this has allowed them, to an extent, to live where they want. Remote working has played a huge part in people’s movements in and into the city.

January 2024 has been a positive start with the decrease in mortgage rates and confidence has been brought back in the marketplace as whole. We couldn’t think of a better time and opportunity to launch a new business as we realised there was a gap in the market for a more personalised service from an estate agency.

We will always offer honest valuations of your home

We pride ourselves on giving reliable advice to everyone we work with. This means that, above all else, we will always provide you with an honest valuation of your home. Before coming to see you we will do our research by looking into recent sales in your area, as well as any development that may affect the value of your property (positively or negatively). We will take time to look around your home and assess its current worth and advise you on how to showcase your home to achieve its maximum potential value.

We promise to never over value your home just to encourage you to list through us. We will guide you on the best pricing strategy and try to match your desired outcomes. We always advise anyone who is thinking of selling to get several valuations to judge for themselves what the right value is. Then we advise them to come with us.

How to prepare your home for sale

Okay, so you’ve taken our advice and decided that now is the right time for you to sell. What next?

    1. Declutter and depersonalise – it helps potential buyers to see a future in your home, rather than just your belongings.
    2. Become a DIY-er – or employ someone who knows what they’re doing. Touching up those jobs you’ve been putting off will make a world of difference for first impressions.
    3. Get your feather duster out – make sure your home is clean and tidy, both on the inside and the outside, for all viewings.
    4. Make sure it smells nice – there’s nothing better than walking into a fresh smelling home.
    5. Don’t forget about the garden – make sure it’s tidy and clear of flyaway rubbish. It’s likely that the garden is one of the main reasons someone is interested in your home.

If you’re thinking of selling – now, or in the future – contact us for a friendly no-obligation chat. We love looking around properties and would be more than happy to come and meet you and give you an honest valuation of your home.

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