Making the decision to sell your property is no small feat. Often, your home represents not just your biggest asset, but years of memories, efforts, and emotions. Equally with the average house price decreasing and speculation of further falls (October 2023), you may be wondering, ‘Should I sell my house now or wait?’.
Despite higher mortgage rates and the impact that the cost of living crisis has had on the property market, now is still as good a time as any to sell. Here, we explain why…
Understanding the Property Market
The UK property market has seen its fair share of ups and downs. From the booming house prices of the early 2000s to the slowdown post the 2008 financial crash, and the uncertainties around Brexit to the fluctuations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s essential to have a pulse on the current market conditions. Researching and understanding if it’s a buyer‘s or seller’s market could greatly influence your decision. And, with house prices dipping, now may still be a good time to capitalise on house price growth before it wanes.
It’s important to highlight that, contrary to the media’s opinions on house prices, many homeowners still need to sell their property due to personal reasons. These can include:
- Life events such as death, debt, and divorce, which consistently influence property sales.
- Job relocations.
- The desire or necessity to downsize.
- The necessity to upsize for additional space.
- Selling an inherited or secondary property.
While investors might prioritise market trends and potential profits, homeowners primarily focus on their individual needs. Nevertheless, given that our homes often represent our largest financial investments, gaining insights into current market conditions can be crucial when pondering, ‘Is now the right time to sell my house?’.
Current Trends in the Property Market:
Currently (October 2023), the property market is feeling the pinch due to higher mortgage rates. A recent report from Nationwide’s House Price Index highlighted a 5.3% drop in average house prices in September 2023, relative to the previous year, setting the average price at £257,808.
On the brighter side, we’ve observed a positive shift in the available mortgage rates. From July 2023 onwards, there’s been a steady decline in rates, a trend that has continued into October. This bodes well for potential buyers. However, these rates, while lower, are still considerably higher than the ultra-low rates we’ve seen over the previous three years. Therefore, speaking with a mortgage advisor becomes all the more crucial to secure the best offers across the mortgage market.
Will 2023 See a House Price Crash?
There were whispers of a potential 20% plummet in house prices for 2023, but such drastic drops have not materialised. Current indicators suggest a decline close to 5% on average. Many experts have seen this as a market ‘correction’ rather than a crash as it follows so many years of house prices rising, which was especially prevalent post-Covid-19.
Are Properties Selling?
For those wondering, ‘Is now the right time to sell my house?’, it’s essential to gauge the current activity in the housing market. HMRC data from July 2023, indicates a decade-low in transactions. However, properties continue to sell, with 86,000 deals closed in that month. This figure is 16% less than July 2022. The average time-to-sell is holding at around 55 days, slightly up from the past year’s 50-day average.
To Sell Now or Hold Off?
When deciding on selling your property, it’s crucial not to be swayed entirely by market speculations. The future of housing prices remains a topic of debate and uncertainty. If your circumstances demand that you sell, such as relocating for a job or a separation, it’s best to do what is right for you.
For those hesitant due to a dip in their property’s value, it’s worth remembering that the next house you buy might also have a reduced price, effectively balancing out the difference.
Is it the right time to sell my property?
When faced with the dilemma, ‘Is this the right time to sell my house?’, there’s a wealth of information available to gauge the timing.
- Analyse the Market: Browse platforms like Rightmove and Zoopla from a buyer’s viewpoint. How does your property stack up against the competition? What are homes similar to yours priced at? Are they on the market for long durations? Are any price reductions evident?
- Connect with Local Estate Agents: What’s the current appetite for homes like yours? It might be helpful to enquire about the typical duration properties remain on the market in your area. We can help explain the local current market to you, just contact your local Arden office.
- Review Recent Sale Prices: Research ‘Sold House Prices’ on Rightmove, or use the Land Registry‘s tool to investigate recent sales figures in your area.
Will I need to drop my listing price if I sell now?
Ensuring you list your home at a realistic price from the get-go is paramount. This approach decreases the chances of having to slash your price due to lack of interest from potential buyers. To kickstart the process, seek an online valuation to estimate its worth. For an in-depth insight, book a property appraisal with two or three local estate agents, who will consider local market conditions and recent sales data to provide a comprehensive valuation.
Beyond the market and economic factors, personal considerations are paramount.
- Financial Situation: Do you need to release equity quickly? Maybe there are pressing debts, or you’re looking at another investment opportunity. If selling your property can improve your financial health or provide liquid cash for an important venture, it might make sense to sell sooner rather than later.
- Life Changes: Maybe there’s a baby on the way, or you’ve landed a new job in another city. Changes in personal circumstances can necessitate a move.
- State of Your Property: If you’ve recently invested in renovations and your property is in top-notch condition, you could fetch a higher price. However, if your property requires significant repairs, waiting and fixing those issues could increase its value. It is advisable to speak to a professional valuer about when is best to spend or not on a property.
Nobody has a crystal ball, but there are always predictions about where the property market is heading.
- Potential Regulatory Changes: Government policies, such as changes in stamp duty, can influence the property market. Keep an eye on any proposed changes.
- Supply and Demand: If there’s a large number of new build properties coming up in your area, this could saturate the market, potentially driving prices down.
The Cost of Waiting
There’s a cost to everything, including waiting. If property prices are rising steadily, waiting could mean you’ll sell your property for more later on. However, if prices are volatile or showing signs of a downward trend, waiting could reduce your property’s value.
Moreover, there are also the ongoing costs of owning a property to consider: mortgage payments, maintenance, taxes, and insurance. If you’ve moved out or are planning to move out soon, there might be additional costs in managing two properties or renting a temporary place.
Lastly, selling a home isn’t just about pounds and pence. It’s an emotional journey. If you’re deeply attached to your home, or if the thought of moving is causing undue stress, it’s essential to weigh these emotional factors. After all, peace of mind is priceless.
So, should you sell your property now or wait? The answer may or may not be straightforward for you. It requires a careful analysis of both the market conditions and your personal situation.
Above all, remember that selling a home is a significant decision. Take your time, do your research, and whatever you decide, make sure it aligns with both your financial goals and personal well-being.
Choosing a local estate agent who understands the nuances of your specific area can provide invaluable insights.
If you would like to have an informal chat with us, then please feel free to get in touch.
We have offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands including Barnt Green, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Rubery, Solihull and Worcester, and our friendly team of experts are here to advise and help you every step of the way!