WITH the UK housing market on the up and up and promising signs that the economic recovery is taking hold, the start of the year could well be an opportune time to think about selling your home.

Hometrack has recently reported that demand for housing rose by 20 per cent – the biggest increase for three years.

This is great news for sellers where a period of low supply but high demand can allow a home to stand out from the crowd and will often attract more serious buyers and competitive offers.

Chris Nicklin, of Strutt & Parker’s Odiham office, urges sellers to act sooner rather than later on this news and to not adopt the view that the market will somehow be ‘better’ in the months to come.

He said: “There is a temptation to think the market will be better in the future, but on what basis?

“It always used to be claimed that May and June were the best times to sell, but looking back over recent years, some of the best sales have taken place in the New Year, often in January, February or March.”

The New Year property market is usually peppered with two types of buyer – brand-new buyers, and those re-entering the market after trying, but failing, to buy at the back end of the previous year.

At this time, there can be fewer properties for sale but plenty of potential buyers, making the start of the year a great time to increase your chances of a sale.

As we go into May and June, the market can saturate, dominated by high supply.

“Try and sell then and you’re one of many, many houses for sale,” said Chris.

“But selling in a period of high demand but low supply means you are one of few houses for sale. “You can then work hard on standing out from the competition, rather than getting lost in a market overload later in the year.”

As house prices are predicted to rise by eight per cent in 2014, it is important to remember that any fluctuations seen in the housing market are not set in stone and to concentrate on what you can control – maximising your property and getting the best possible deal.