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When is the Best Time to Move House?

Owain Banfield
Written by Owain Banfield
8th June 2018 (Last updated on Tuesday 9th April 2019)

According to Compare My Move users, the best time to move house is during the summer. After analysing the 66,500 UK movers that used our service last year, we can reveal that nearly 30% of moves happened in summer.

The best time to move depends on many factors including lifestyle, family and finance, and will change if you’re looking to buy or sell a house. So in this article, removals experts Compare My Move explore which time of year is best for you.

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This article will cover the following points

The Best Time of Year to Move House The Most Popular Time to Move Across Britain When is the Best Time to Sell Your House? Does Time of Year Affect Removal Rates? Booking the Best Time

The Best Time of Year to Move House

Summer is the most popular season to move house, with 29% of UK house moves happening in June, July and August. According to Compare My Move data, the most popular month to move is August, as this is the when the largest amount of movers choose to move.

With long, bright days and dependable weather, August is an obvious choice for moving house. If you’re moving with children who will start at a new school, taking advantage of the August summer holiday gives your children time to settle in to their new home ahead of the new school year. Moving in August would certainly avoid your children starting a new school half way through the school year.

Though we must remember that busiest does not mean best, so let’s explore the time of year to move that might suit you.

Best Seasons 926 Best Seasons 560 Best Seasons 360

Compare My Move User Data 2017

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Moving in spring

A popular season to move as things start to freshen up and get lighter, moves in spring are boosted it by traditionally being a favoured season for selling a house. The good lighting, mild temperature and somewhat-predictable weather conditions make Spring a good choice. Plus, spring has a range of bank holidays to take advantage of a long weekend to unpack.

Moving in summer

Summer is the favourite season to move, and for good reason. Families can take advantage of the huge summer holidays to get children settled, long bright days and predictable weather. It’s likely that many buyers that looked during spring will be completing the buying process in summer too. As the most popular season to move, things will get busy however. Remember to book your removals well in advance if you have a particular date in mind.

Moving in autumn

The second most popular season to move house, mainly on account of September being a hugely popular month. As summer fades, you’ll still get dependable weather and longer days in September than at the latter end of autumn. As summer is the peak time for removal companies, it’s likely that moving in autumn you’ll get a more enticing rate.

Moving in winter

The UK’s least favourite season for moving, on account of bleak weather and short, dark days. The cold weather may also make the move harder, as weather conditions are more extreme and icy roads can be dangerous. December is the most popular winter month for UK house movers, likely on account of a surge of people moving to a new house before Christmas. Keep in mind that you will have to be extremely organised, and work around Christmas parties and New Years’ celebrations. UK moves drop-off after Christmas however, with February being the UK’s least favourite month to move. Removal companies tend to wind down over December, so although the season isn’t particularly busy, remember to book in advance.

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The Most Popular Time to Move Across Britain

We've crunched the numbers, and we can reveal that although the favourite season to move across the Britain is summer, region by region the favourite differs. Autumn is the favoured season for movers in Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands and the East Midlands, whilst movers in the North East prefer spring. The same can be said for the favourite month to move in Britain. Across the nation the overall favourite month to move is August, which is also the overall favourite month for movers in Greater and Central London, the East of England, and the South East.

July is the favourite month for movers in the South West, North West, North East and Scotland, whilst September is favoured by movers in the West Midlands, East Midlands and Wales. Interestingly, Compare My Move users moving in the Yorkshire and the Humber region buck the trend completely, with a majority moving in December.

Popular Time to Move Across Britain

Compare My Move User Data 2017

When is the Best Time to Sell Your House?

According to estate agents, the best time to sell your house is spring. The good weather means your garden will be in full bloom, making the house look more appealing to potential buyers. Plus, prospective buyers are also more willing to house hunt in good weather.

Keep in mind that the timing of your move will also be affected by your estate agent and solicitor. Maintain communication with them to ensure they are up to date on what needs to be done and they are ready for the exchange of contracts.

Generally though, there are more buyers in spring, making it the best time to start the selling process.

The key market for the property industry is spring, from March heading into summer. This is the best market to take advantage of as most people look to move before summer so you have both available properties and active buyers."
Mark Lawrinson, Regional Sales Director, Portico London estate agents.

Autumn also proves to be a popular time to sell a house, as buyers are back from their summer holidays and will want to move in before Christmas. Whenever you decide to sell your house, ensure plenty of time. You’ll want to list your home as early as possible, because there can be as much as 3 to 6 months between starting the selling process and actually moving from your home. So listing your property during winter is a great idea if you’re looking for a spring sale.

Enquiries for properties and web visits to property portals always reach an annual high around the Christmas period – people are off work, reflecting on a year passed and a year ahead – and so that interest becomes a reality into January and February."Mike Shrubsall, Managing Director, Martin & Co
Claire Watson, 28th January 2019
"Quick, efficient and friendly service. Everything was moved with care. Great value for money."

Does Time of Year Affect Removal Rates?

Regarding the time of year, off peak times such as the spring or after the summer holidays can usually result in cheaper removal costs too.

Weekend moves usually command higher rates from removal companies, so if it is possible, try to move during the week if you can get time off work.

Ultimately, the best time to move depends on your personal circumstances, but spring is ideal in terms of prospective buyers, good weather, removal company rates and working around holidays. For a full breakdown on the price of moving, check out our ultimate cost of moving house guide.

Booking the Best Time

Once you've chosen the perfect time of year to move, read our guide on choosing the best moving day for more information. Whether you're fighting the crowds and moving in August, or braving the snow in bleak midwinter, use Compare My Move to save time and money on your house removals. Fill in a quick and simple form including your preferred moving date, and get connected with up to 6 professional removal companies to save up to 70% on your removal costs.

No matter when you decide to move, it is going to take a lot of planning. Remember to follow our moving house checklist and tick off each task to stay on track during your house move.