When should I buy a house? How seasons affect house prices

Published Sep 29, 2017 – 3 mins read

Autumn is now upon us, having officially started on 22nd September – though depending on the weather where you were you might want to argue it started somewhat early this year. Autumn conjures up images of golden leaves, the return of woolly jumpers, hot chocolate, Bonfire Night and Halloween. But did you know it is also a big season in the property market?

All these thoughts of cosiness turn people’s minds to their homes and wanting to get settled before Christmas. Last year 28% of property sales were during autumn.

How seasons affect house prices

The seasonal associations don’t end there. A fascinating new survey shows how seasons affect house prices. Houses with autumnal-themed names are worth more than double those that have “summer” in the name.

What’s in a name? Something that buyers like. Thanks to Land Registry data we can see how seasons affect house prices.

Spring names sell for on average £315,733. Those with summery names average £261,342. Those autumnal names go for an average of £606,145. And wintery names sell for an average £467,041.

Autumn is the clear winner here.

So far this year four homes called Autumn House have been sold. The most expensive went for almost £3 million near Maidenhead. In Rawdon, West Yorkshire, an Autumn House sold for over half a million pounds.

Autumn Cottage is another popular one, with seven having being bought this year. They ranged from £163,500 in Norfolk to £640,000 in Buckinghamshire.

We can see clearly how seasons affect house prices, but why?

Firstly, the sample size is small and there’s no adjustment for the size of the house or any other factors so it is mostly a bit of fun. Then there are different connotations of the seasons with autumn invoking a sense of cosiness and comfort. Summer might prompt more of a “Summer? What summer?” response in a lot of Brits. Winter might seem chilly but it’s also a season of celebration.

Seasons do affect house prices in more concrete ways, as we will see below.

When should I buy a house?

There are lots of factors to consider if you are thinking about when should you buy a house. Markets ebb and flow with demand and supply and if you pick the right time you can get a better deal. There are personal circumstances to take into account, the length of time involved and not forgetting that moving home can be stressful.

Between the end of the summer holidays and Christmas is a top period for moving home. With kids back at school and the deadline of Christmas that makes sense. So too, is late Spring – with Easter out of the way focus switches to a larger garden for the summer and the location of good schools for the start of the new school year in September.

Year on year there are different considerations. Stamp duty land tax changes sped up a lot of transactions last year as people tried to beat the increases coming in. Sometimes changes that might appear seasonal are one-off events that can skew statistics. When house prices fall or rise there will be different levels of activity not necessarily related to the time of year.

Different cities, areas of the country and urban or rural settings might have slightly different patterns to the national average that you should be aware of.

There are lots of ways seasons affect house prices and the question of when you should buy a house can have lots of different answers. You can speak to a Garrington expert in your area for all the latest information and advice.