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Forget the sales…why Boxing Day marks the start of peak house-hunting season

Boxing Day is already associated with shopping and spending as millions of people head to the sales in the search of some great bargains.

But did you know it is also the start of a peak period for people searching online for their next home?

According to the property website Rightmove, the number of people searching for properties online rocketed by 228% last year between Christmas Day and the first working day of the New Year.

Indeed, January 2 of this year was the third busiest day on the national website over a full 12-month period, with around 38 million pages on the site viewed over 24 hours.

For this reason, Oscars Estate and Lettings Agents, in Anlaby, East Yorkshire, reopens for two days between Christmas and New Year on the 27th and 28th to handle expected enquires and requests for viewings, before another expected spike on January 2nd.

The firm markets all of its properties across Hull and the East Riding on Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.com, the three biggest property portals, and managing director Alisdair Bott-Francis says it is a key period for those hoping to sell.

“As a business we are well prepared for this now, as like the Boxing Day sales the post-Christmas thirst for searching for a new home is growing every year and is now expected,” he said.

“Statistics going back a number of years have shown this to be a continuing trend, as there is a surge in interest from buyers who want to move in the New Year.”

Mr Bott-Francis says there are a number of possible reasons for the increased demand on Boxing Day and the days up to the New Year, with an impact felt on both the sales and lettings side of his business.

“The market naturally slows in December as it is such a busy time for all,” he said.

“If you think about it, it is quite natural for people to be making big decisions on their lives and homes over the Christmas period.

“We spend a lot more time in our homes over the festive period, and with more visitors and entertaining than usual it can be a time when people decide they need more space or a home more suited to their growing families.

“Many people come through the festivities and look at making a new start in the New Year. It gives people a real focus for the year ahead.”

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