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Warming to a Winter Market

The first thing every economic student learns is the rule of supply and demand. It’s the common factor underpinning everything we sell and buy – and real estate is no different. It’s also one of the key reasons that selling in Winter can be a lot more attractive than waiting until Spring.

Sure, in Spring the gardens are usually at their best, sunsets are later and there’s a certain buzz in the air. That’s why September to November have traditionally been prime property months and most homes tend to be listed. But there in lies the problem: while there are plenty more homes on the market, there aren’t necessarily as many potential buyers – or at least the market is more diluted. And this simply means that all those beautifully landscaped properties have to compete with each other.

Now, there’s no doubt that outstanding presentation helps drive up the price, but a Winter home can sometimes be even more appealing than a Spring one. North-facing windows that soak up glorious Winter sun, cosy sitting rooms warmed by open fires, and low maintenance gardens that look impressive, even without the flowers and fruit blossoms, all add to the attractiveness of Winter home.

Winter sales also appeal to those with families, who’d rather use the Spring mid-semester break to move house than cut into the already frantic and often hot Christmas holidays. Unlike fashion, and other seasonally dependent sectors, property is not an impulse buy, and purchasers have generally spent months carefully researching the market and planning their strategy. They know that not only will there be less choice in Winter, there may be more competition, which means when they find a home they like, at a price they can afford, then chances are they’ll jump at the opportunity – meaning a quicker, more efficient sale.

So if you’re thinking of selling, but simply waiting for the garden to emerge from its slumber, it may be wise to consider an earlier sale, spruce up the home to maximise on its Winter qualities and reap the benefits before the Spring rush.