“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!”
From the words of Charles Dickens, the Victorian novelist, the holiday season is both a time to be at home by the warmth of the hearth, and to bring your imaginative ambitions to fruition. And, when it comes to real estate, both of these festive sentiments help make this time of year ideal for buying a house.
Here, we consider the factors at play in the market throughout November and December, and consider how these can help you if you are buying a home before Christmas.
Fewer buyers = less competition
If you are buying a home in winter, then you might notice that competition is a little thin on the ground at this time of year. Most people are run off their feet preparing for the big day – buying gifts, stocking up on food, and making plans to be with family. This is excellent news for the few savvy individuals buying a house at this time, as fewer interested parties means you’re less likely to find yourself in a bidding war.
Vendors are keen to get out by Christmas
Christmas is a time to be warm at home, surrounded by your friends and family. If a seller is looking to relocate towards the end of the year, the idea of spending their first Christmas in their new house will probably have crossed their mind. Therefore, those buying a home before Christmas can use this to their advantage by making early offers and promising a completion date before the 25th.
New Year awaits
The beginning of a new year is a busy time for the real estate market, which has lead many people to believe that this is the best time to buy a house. With sellers looking to make a fresh start, properties begin to quickly pile up on the market. However, this massive increase in properties brings a hoard of buyers in tow, which therefore drives the competition and reduces your chances of buying a house at a bargain price.
Anyone with a property on the market in November or December will be keen to make a sale before January. If they fail to reach an agreement before then, the delay will reflect poorly against the influx of new homes flooding the market in the new year. Once again, this makes an early closure more probable for those buying a home before Christmas.
Beat the Christmas break
Real estate agents like to take a break over the Christmas period, which can involve shutting the office for as much as a week prior to the new year. This offers both vendors and those buying a house yet another reason to exchange contracts before those final festive days.
Engel & Völkers have decades of experience selling luxury properties around the world. Whether you’re keen on buying a home before Christmas or making a sale, head to the Engel & Völkers website for more real estate advice.