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Is March the ideal time to look for a new house

19 March 2012

With Christmas now a distant memory but damp, chilly weather and dark evenings still lingering, early March is often seen as the ideal time for a sunshine break. Increasingly, however, it is becoming a great month to search for, sell or buy a new home.

 
 Sophie Gosling, a director of online estate agentHouseSimple, explains why:
 
1)      Bad weather is no longer a deterrent to potential viewers – because over 90% of all home searches now begin online. As long as a for-sale property appears online with a set of professional photos and a floor plan, included as standard in any reputable estate agent’s fee, potential buyers will be able to look at it from the comfort of their own sofa.
 
2)      Interest rates remain low, with the Bank of England holding the rate at 0.5% in February and signalling last week that that there will be no rise until 2014. This is good news for borrowers as it means lower mortgage repayments. With signs of inflation dropping due to falling energy prices, lower bills are in the pipeline too.
  
3)      If low interest rates were not enough to convince would-be buyers, news that mortgage providers are cutting rates on five- and ten-year fixed-rate mortgages to the lowest ever levels acts as another sweetener. Sophie said: “With rates as low as 3.19%, mortgage rates will have to rise at some point. Fixing now will help consumers protect themselves from such rises in the future.”
 
4)      The ‘stamp duty holiday’ – available to first-time buyers on properties up to £250,000 – is due to end on 25 March, after which they’ll be subject to a levy of 1% of the value of their purchase. The Council of Mortgage Lenders says the increase in the number of mortgages taken out by first-time buyers is proof that the ‘holiday’ is working – but there are only a few weeks left to benefit from it.
  
5)      The ‘Valentine’s Day effect’. With £880m spent on shows of romance this year, this period is a time when many couples underline their commitment to one another. Whether this takes the form of getting engaged, booking a trip abroad or moving in with their partner, buying a home is the next major step many couples will take together.
 
6)      Spring is just around the corner. Traditionally a great time for buying and selling homes, people will be looking forward to spring blooms, longer evenings, warmer weather… and getting outside and viewing properties. So, whether a seller is using an agent or going down the private house sales route, early March is the perfect time for prepping a for-sale home and getting it online.
 
About HouseSimple: 
HouseSimple is an online estate agency service combining the most valuable tools to sell a property that a high street estate agent provides with the power of internet marketing – and all for a much lower fee. So make the right move, if you're thinking of selling a property, think 'HouseSimple'.
 
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