Agency comparison service GetAgent says there are widespread myths surrounding the idea of selling homes at Christmas; it says that there may indeed be a surge in the number of people looking at the portals, but it queries whether this actually promotes sales.
Land Registry data on actual sales during December shows that there is a relatively strong market with 79,754 sales registered during the month last year, the sixth highest of all months of the year.
But while GetAgent accepts that December holds its own in terms of sales volumes, the average sold price hit just £289,801, the lowest throughout the year other than just May and February.
In a statement the site says: “For those relying on the Boxing Day Bounce to boost their home selling chances, it seems to be more of a Rightmove marketing gimmick rather than a property selling silver bullet.
“With the average time to sell currently at 162 days across the UK, going live online on Boxing Day would still see the average home seller wait until the start of June to complete on a sale.”
And it continues: “For those looking for the quickest sale, taking advantage of a quiet period in the industry to get their ducks in a row will see them a step ahead come January, however, it could also see them pushed down the pecking order and for those looking for the best price, it’s better to wait until the festive dust has settled to kick things off.”
GetAgent’s founder and chief executive Colby Short is distinctly unimpressed at the quality of enquiry that festive season portal viewing generates.
“Aunty Tina the tyre kicker, flicking through homes while on her third sherry, probably isn’t in the serious buyer you want to attract. While listing views are great, a large degree of exposure with little interest or enquiry can be disheartening, and opting to burn your home’s initial launch momentum on the wrong audience could actually be detrimental to your sale” says Short.
“Come January a fresh influx of stock will see your property pushed down the rankings, out of sight and out of mind to those with serious intentions of buying” he tells prospective vendors.
“So while the data shows that the Boxing Day Bounce will provide a good chance of transacting come June, you are far better off waiting until it’s business as usual and listing your home at the start of the New Year, in order to achieve a better price come completion time in July or August.”
Short’s analysis is based on transaction and price data sourced from the Land Registry Price Paid data set; and his Time To Sell is based on the time from first listing to under offer/sold subject to contract.