Best time to sell or buy in the New Year?

At this time of the year, questions to agents from their clients tend to fall into two camps – those involved in current sales who would very much like to be completed by Christmas and newer enquiries keen to know when might be the best time to kick off their New Year plans. With an estimated 220,000+ sales nationally still hoping to complete before the Christmas holidays and two weeks to go before solicitors break up, communication and co-ordination from agents will as always be key to shepherding transactions to a successful conclusion. However, for some agents and property portals, the focus will soon be on their annual marketing campaigns to entice owners to launch their homes for Boxing Day and buyers to get prepared to pounce.

Based on the rather spurious notion that people spend the day after Christmas browsing the internet for their next house and backed up by carefully selected advertising from the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla, you should expect to see a raft of messages in the next fortnight suggesting that launching property in the Christmas holidays guarantees the maximum amount of eyeballs. As this marketing is an annual event, it seems to have become somewhat ingrained in the public consciousness by now but is it worth thinking about if you’re selling? And what about if you’re thinking of buying? Should you be glued to the portals during your holidays waiting for a torrent of new instructions?

As we have had several specific questions on this from potential sellers and buyers already this week, we thought it might be helpful to research some Bath specific data from the Christmas and New year period last year to see if there is really any truth in the Boxing Day assertion. Starting on Christmas Eve 2021, we’ve gathered week by week numbers on new properties, sales agreed and average property views in BA1 and BA2 until the beginning of March. Have a look at the graphs below to see what you think;

New year stock tracker

Was last year an aberration as the market was so good? We’ve searched through our archives to check national figures for Rightmove all the way back to 2015 and it would seem the activity pattern is fairly stable whichever year you’re looking at.


New Year



So, if you’re looking to sell in the New Year, it may be best to hold off launching your property until the second half of January as portal activity from buyers soars far above the Christmas low point and the sales data shows higher commitment levels.

If you’re looking to buy, don’t take your eye off the ball (even at Christmas) as the perfect property might come along at any time but waiting for late January through into mid Feb would seem to give you more choice.


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