Garrington Property Finders: A new year, a new home

An English mansion house built around 1730, with a drive in front of it with a circle of green grass containing a planter

Jonathan Hopper from Garrington Property Finders says that the new year is often a time when plans are hatched for a house move - Credit: 1000 Words/Shutterstock

Professional property finder Jonathan Hopper discusses why the early months of 2022 could be the best time of year to purchase your next property

For many people the new year is a special time filled with resolutions and hopes for the year ahead. It’s often also a time when plans are hatched for moving house. Property portals experience some of their highest levels of visitor traffic over the Christmas break and at the start of the year; a trend that keeps rising every year with millions flocking to websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove on Boxing Day alone.

As activity in the property market returns in the first weeks of 2022, buyers should be alert to the fact that waiting for the spring market could mean they may miss some of the best buying opportunities of the year.

Ahead of the crowd

Many people incorrectly assume that the property market does not really offer much in the way of opportunities until the spring and may therefore hold back with moving plans for several months. While this assumption may have held true several years ago, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that this is no longer the case.

The UK property market has bucked almost all traditional trends over the past 18 months, meaning historically quiet periods have been some of the busiest on record. Despite the end of the temporary reduction in applicable Stamp Duty Land Tax, the numbers of buyers actively searching for properties has remained high. This is particularly evident in the prime UK market where competition to secure a property is heated due to the severe shortage of properties available to buy.

The hidden market

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At this time of year, many sellers open discussions with agents and explore the possibility of selling their homes. The early months of the year can be some of the busiest in terms of ‘off-market’ activity, as discreet sellers explore whether there is a sales opportunity available to them, without the need for a full-scale marketing campaign.

With off-market property sales it is ‘who you know’ that matters. These opportunities are not listed on portals or agents’ websites, meaning buyers must actively be in regular contact with selling agents to ensure their interests are registered. In many cases off-market opportunities come from varying sources, whether it is an introduction from an architect or a wealth manager. It is a buying agent’s relationships with all manner of local industry professionals that often gains access to exclusive properties.

Buying with confidence in 2022

Despite the new year offering fresh opportunities, there are nonetheless fresh challenges for buyers wanting to move in 2022. The often-conflicting data in press coverage, and now quite complex localised markets, can leave buyers confused and unable to have confidence when finding a property. A full understanding of what’s really going on in a local property market, together with the right connections, are pre-requisite to making a well-informed and successful property purchase this year.

If you are thinking of moving in 2022 and would like further information on how Garrington can provide guidance and assurance and save you time and money when finding the right property, please do get in touch without obligation.