The best time of the year to sell your house

House with SOLD notice

It's bad news for people looking to move who haven't yet found a buyer: the autumn term has started, and your home is much less likely to sell.

It's no surprise that most families like to minimise the disruption to their kids by moving during the school holidays. But did you know that this can have a big effect on house prices?

SEE ALSO: Are we set for a house price collapse?

SEE ALSO: 24% of parents have moved home to be in school catchment area, says survey

According to online estate agent, most homes are actually sold during the school terms, which are, of course, longer than the holidays.

But the average sale price for these homes is a lot lower: £296,128, compared with £308,150 for the school holidays. And worst of all is the autumn term that's just beginning, with an average sale price of just £271,028.

The best time of year to complete on your sale, says eMoov, is the Easter holidays, with the average price paid reaching £398,041. The spring term leading up to Easter is the second highest at £324,632, with the spring half term, the autumn half term and the Christmas holidays providing other windows for a higher price.

"As we wave goodbye to summer and finally see the kids return to school many will pause for a breath and a well-deserved cup of tea. However, for those of us with a property sale forthcoming, our attention will soon be drawn to when to sell with an eye on completing before Christmas," says founder and CEO of, Russell Quirk.

"Whilst the Christmas break offers an opportunity to get a sale over the line, and for a marginally higher sold price, when combined with the additional stress of the festive period it can be a tough ask."

There is, though, another good opportunity to get a higher price: the autumn half term, just seven weeks away. People who sell then get on average 12% more than those who sell now.

Given that it generally takes around two months to sell, according to Rightmove, this means that people who get a move on can still get a good price for their home - after all, even if you miss the half-term window, it's not long until Christmas.

"As this research shows, the best window to aim for, albeit a smaller one, is the autumn half term," says Quirk.

"Of course, you can never say for sure how long a sale will take as each is individual, but as a good rule of thumb, getting the preparation of floor plans and photos out of the way now, puts you in a very good position once the market picks up mid-term and continues to do so right up until Christmas."

Sold prices during term times and holidays

Summer holiday: £294,370
Autumn term 1: £271,028
Autumn half term: £303,003
Autumn term 2: £297,691
Christmas Holiday: £300,367
Spring term 1: £293,220
Spring half term: £323,052
Spring term 2: £324,632
Easter holiday: £398,041
Summer term 1: £294,991
Summer half term: £266,637
Summer term 2: £293,817
Term time (all): £296,128
Holidays (all) £308,150

10 things that add value to homes in an area
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10 things that add value to homes in an area

A view out over the park isn’t just a nice bonus, it’s a valuable asset. A study by Marsh & Parsons has found that a park view can add up to 10% to a property's asking price.

It carried out its research in London, where it found that a view over Warwick Square in Pimlico added £75,000 to the asking price of a one-bedroom apartment.

Understandably, this is largely a London phenomenon, where the vast majority of train-based commuting takes place in the UK.

The Nationwide Building Society found that being 500m from a station would add 10.5% to the value of a property in London. In Manchester it fetched a 4.6% premium and in Glasgow 6%.

The researchers found that the closer the property was, the higher the premium would be - until the proximity of the station started having an impact on the area itself.

Having a Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer or the Co-operative within striking difference, will add value to your property. In fact, a survey by Lloyds claimed that it would add 7% - or just over £15,000.

However, apparently what we all really want is a Waitrose, because the same study found that having a branch nearby added almost £39,000 - or 12% to the value of the property.

The way the survey was carried out, however, doesn't make it clear whether this is a reflection of the attraction of the supermarket itself, or whether the supermarkets tend to target affluent areas with expensive houses.

People will pay 12% more to live in a market town than they will for the same property in the surrounding countryside. The findings come from Lloyds Bank, which claimed the towns offered a balance between country life and community spirit that proved irresistible to buyers.

It added that in some market towns the mark-up was even larger, with Beaconsfield in the South East attracting a 156% premium over the surrounding area.

A study by the London School of Economics found that living in a conservation area adds 23% to the value of your home. Given that this was an academic study, the researchers went even further and adjusted the results based on the kinds of properties in the area, and other aspects of the location (which none of the other studies took into consideration), and it still found an uplift of 9%.
Being near a good school will add 28% to the value of your home - according to Savills - with parents calculating that it’s cheaper to move into the catchment area of a good school and pay anything up to £100,000 more for their property than fork out for years of extortionate private education.

A study a few years ago by Zoopla discovered that living on a road with ‘Hill’ or ‘Lane’ in its name meant your property was likely to be 50% more valuable than the national average.

Those with ‘Mews’, ‘Park’ and 'Green’ in their names were also more valuable.

It’s unlikely that there’s any element of cause and effect here: instead they are by-products of the same thing. Expensive houses have always been built in the more exclusive parts of town, including the hills and the quiet ‘lanes’ around those hills.

A survey by Primelocation claimed that being near a top golf course would add 56% to the value of your property. It added that prices were also rising faster near golf courses than elsewhere in the country.

Of course, there’s a chance that the results were impacted by the fact that many of the courses are in leafy and exclusive areas, where people pay a premium to live regardless of the course.

You’d have thought the threat of flooding would make people take to the hills, but it appears we’re still happy to pay a premium to be beside the sea.

The Knight Frank Waterfront Index found that overlooking an estuary adds an average of 85% to the price of a property, a harbour adds 83%, while the coastline in general adds 56% to the value of the property. If you have a mooring, that’s even better, as it adds 104% to the value of your home.

Despite all the bad press surrounding flood plains and rivers breaking their banks, being near a river is actually more valuable than being by the sea.

The Knight Frank Waterside Index claims it adds 57% to the value of your property - making it the most valuable asset to have in the neighbourhood.


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