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When Are the Best Periods to Invest in the UK Property Market?

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    Is Spring the Best Time for Investing UK Property?, a comparison site for estate agents, recently analysed Land Registry data spanning five years to determine the peak periods of market activity and how the traditional surge in spring affects home sales.

    Today, we’ll be looking at data and figuring out whether buy-to-let investors should wait for a particular season or look at other factors to determine when they should invest in property.

    Read on for more information and see what this means for your buy-to-let opportunities.

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      What Does Sales Activity Look Like Throughout the Year?

      The analysis reviewed sales transactions over 60 months and found that approximately 1.115 million homes were sold from March to May, making up 23% of total transactions during this period. Despite being a significant activity level, it represents the lowest proportion of homes sold compared to other seasons.

      Winter, the second slowest season for home sales, saw around 1.115 million homes sold over five years, accounting for 24.3% of market activity.

      Summer and autumn emerge as the busiest seasons for sales volumes. During the summer months of June to August, nearly 1.191 million homes were sold, constituting 26% of total market activity. However, autumn takes the lead with 1.226 million total sales from September to November, representing 26.7% of all homes sold in the last five years.

      It’s worth noting that although most sales occur during summer and autumn, the groundwork for these transactions begins months earlier. Thus, spring becomes crucial for agents to build their sales pipeline, capitalising on the seasonal shift in seller activity to sustain momentum throughout the year.

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      How Did GetAgent React to the Sales Data?

      Co-founder and CEO of GetAgent, Colby Short, said: “Overall, Spring is clearly the slowest period for property transactions and therefore estate agency revenue. GetAgent, like estate agents, is only paid on completion of sale, so our revenue fluctuates seasonally in the same way.

      “Seasonality seems to affect different parts of the sale cycle in different ways. Often, either the top of the funnel in agency is good, or the bottom of the funnel is good. They rarely align, and this can be difficult to manage psychologically.

      “However, this data, allied with the “spring has sprung” stories that have abounded in recent weeks, show how important it is to manage this and make the most of these spring months. So despite market transactions being particularly low at the moment, it’s really important we don’t lose focus on building that pipeline to ensure our future revenue.”

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      Should You Wait for a Particular Season to Buy Property?

      Interestingly, buyers and sellers assume Spring is the best time to invest in property in the UK market.

      Buy-to-let investors must keep an eye on many spinning plates, such as mortgage rates, inflation and trends among sellers. This makes predicting which season is the best to buy property challenging.

      For instance, 2023 was a year that saw high inflation and rising interest rates play havoc in the property market. This led to higher mortgage rates and low buyer activity. As a result, house prices declined. Some buy-to-let investors – particularly cash buyers – would have identified this as an opportune time to invest in property, mainly because tenant demand was also high, boosting rental prices and gross yields. As such, they would have been less inclined to buy property during a particular season than when the prices were most affordable.

      Additionally, investors interested in off-plan property investment & serviced accommodation are less influenced by the time of year. Instead, they look for opportunities to buy new-build properties before they are built. Therefore, these properties are chain-free and not beholden to any bounce periods in the market.

      Check out some of our top area guides to discover more property investment insights and statistics, such as:

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      Dale Barham

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      Dale is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Dale helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.