6 reasons why Christmas is a good time to buy a house

04 December 2020 | 1 Comment

‘tis the season to be jolly and snap up a great deal on a new home for 2021

We’re often told that selling a home in the run-up to Christmas is a bad idea as no-one wants to buy, but for many reasons this year is bucking the trend. Despite recent house price rises, it could still be a great time to purchase a new property.

READ MORE: Estate agent tactics to sell your home faster

The market traditionally falls quiet in the festive season, with many buyers postponing their searches until the new year, but the imminent demise of the stamp duty holiday has led to more activity than in recent years. But December is still a great time to pick up a deal if you're in a position to move quickly.

Before you begin, get a mortgage agreed in principle that you can use to score points with agents and sellers and find a solicitor who will begin proceeds before you've even found a property. If your conveyancer is on the ball, they can vet your documents such as proof of identity and source of funds ahead of time so when the right place comes along you're already ahead of the game.

Here's why house-hunting right now might actually be a good idea.

1. Motivated sellers are good sellers

No-one wants the unease of not knowing where they are going to be living hanging over them, which means that people on all sides are keen to get everything checked and signed before estate agents and solicitors sign off for the year. Sellers are aware that house prices are hitting a bit of a peak at the moment, so you can still make an offer lower than asking price and get it accepted as they are likely to be making a tidy profit.

2. You can haggle for extras

Pentland Homes' sales and marketing director, Karrina Oki, says: "The proximity to the end of the year means sales agents and developers are often working extra hard to meet end of year targets and get deals done before Christmas, meaning more incentives are available to buyers." So don't be afraid to ask for a little extra over the festive season.

Image: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

 “If you can’t secure a discount off the asking price, look to see what else they can offer to sweeten the deal – think furniture packages, stamp duty contributions or season pass tickets for your commute.”

3. Fewer viewings mean less competition

With many people postponing their house-hunts until the new year because of the holidays, the number of viewings in December aren't likely to be as high as in other months, so there's a good chance you can find your dream home and put an offer in before someone else does. 

Covid-19 precautions are also playing their part. While house viewings are allowed under current restrictions, estate agents are being much more choosy about who they will let in. Some agents are vetting potential buyers before viewings to weed out time-wasters or those not in a position to make a realistic offer. This is good news for serious house-hunters as once you're approved you become a priority to get through the door on hot properties first.

4. Last chance to qualify for the stamp duty holiday

The deadline for the stamp duty holiday is looming, so now really is the last chance to act if you want to enjoy the temporary tax exemption on properties under £500,000.

Home sales must be completed by 31 March 2021 to qualify, and while key industry figures are calling for an extension due to delays in mortgage approvals and legal paperwork, there's no news yet so you'd better get your skates on.

Image: Willy Barton / Shutterstock

5. There's time to prepare for tenants

If you’re planning to rent your property out, then you’re probably aware that January is typically one of the busiest periods for the rental market. If you snap up a house now, you'll have plenty of time to freshen the place up and get it leased out in the new year.

6. You can take advantage of the sales

Plus, if you manage to find a house before Christmas you can take advantage of some of the excellent deals on offer in homeware stores during the festive period. And that’s not to mention the January sales, which kick-off on Boxing Day.

Here's hoping Santa leaves a new set of house keys under the tree this year...

READ MORE: 21 problems that will stop someone buying your house

Photo: Andrew Roland/Shutterstock


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