Spring or autumn? When do I sell best?

What is the best period to put a house for sale online? Everyone has an intuition about the right answer, but what do the numbers say? At Realo, we analysed the houses that have been placed for sale in Belgium since 2015 to find out how market supply, sales speed and additional cost depend on the time of year.

First of all, we see that the most properties come online in spring and autumn. The greatest contrast is from October to December, when there is a maximum of new ads to the absolute lowest point of the year towards Christmas. Flats and houses have a similar pattern throughout the year.

The question then arises: do these months of higher activity also translate into faster sales? The answer is not unequivocal. Houses that come on the market before the summer holidays generally sell faster. What does that mean in concrete terms? According to our calculations, a house in Belgium was online for around 72 days in 2021. If we follow the trend, the same house will generally be sold in 66 days in May and only after 84 days in September. If you want to sell a house more quickly, it is best to sell in the spring.

Based on our previous findings, we could say that spring is an interesting period for selling. But a larger market supply with houses that sell faster might indicate a market in which houses change hands more easily, and therefore more cheaply. So the final piece of the puzzle is how prices fluctuate throughout the year.

Thus we see that once again in spring houses are sold at a higher price. In terms of numbers, an average house in 2021 with a living area of 167 m2 sold in June for 1929 €/m2, while the same house would cost only 1885 €/m2 one month later. A difference of about €7409 on the total amount.

Conclusion: May is the most favourable month to place a house for sale. Despite a larger market supply, houses are sold faster in these months and for a relatively higher price.

Fabrice Luyckx
Data Storyteller