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Who’d have thought it – the market is moving! Despite all the uncertainty and political turmoil, buyers and sellers alike seem to be getting on with life as readily as one would ordinarily expect at this time of year.

However, if you really want some juicy property-related dinner party conversation then just try to unravel the various house price reports. For example, according to the latest data from Nationwide, annual house price growth has remained under 1% for the sixth month in a row, with an average house price of £241,946. Yet the Halifax claims house prices were UP 1.1% on a monthly basis, but with an average house price of £236,619. Haart claims the market has fallen by 3.6% on the year with an average price of £217,785. The latest The Land Registry report states that the average house price in the UK is £226,798 with prices having fallen by 0.2% compared to the previous month and risen by 1.4% compared to the previous year!

The pressure for a decisive Brexit result has clearly provided the country with a sigh of relief and a bit of breathing space – finally. Most people now realise that life goes on and whatever the eventual result, if there ever is one, it is probably more likely to affect their political sensitivities more than their actual pocket. This has been borne out by the increase in activity we have experienced over the past few weeks as we find ourselves in a surprisingly “traditional” spring market.

It’s official – what we’ve suspected all along – a “traditional” estate agent gets sellers more in their pocket than the internet-only alternative. They also secure more viewings and offers! According to research by The Advisory, internet-only agents rely too heavily on property portals to find buyers.

The research suggests that while Rightmove, for example, may directly generate 52% of viewings, this results in only 36% of offers, whereas High Street estate agents generate 48% more viewings, 64% more offers and, in 73% of cases, a 5% higher sale price.


"Nigel and his team are absolutely superb. Their knowledge of the area and the market is exceptional and, above all, they are decent and nice people to work with. Nigel's valuation of our house was spot on, and everyone at Lock & Key was always happy to answer any questions we had.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Lock & Key above any other agent I have dealt with in the Melksham area."

Toby & Steena Martin, Lacock

Dear Nigel, Julie & Amanda

Thank you all so much for all your time, efforts and professionalism during the whole process that you gave us on selling and buying our new home trough Lock & Key, it was much appreciated, and we can honestly say you always had our best interests.  Thanks again, and we will not hesitate to recommend Lock & key.

King regards. 
Jan & Paul Matthews, Redstocks & Somerset Way, Semington.  March 2019

Dear Nigel, Julie & Amanda

Thank you all so much for making everything so stress free for us and being there every step of the way.  You have all been brilliant when we needed help and nothing was too much trouble!  Yorkshire here we come. 

Best wishes, Allen & hazel Bartlett, Lambourne Crescent, Melksham.  March 2019

Sensation sells! The press is having a field day with all sorts of Brexit-related headlines and claims about how the current state of confusion is negatively impacting on the housing market. The reality is that latest figures published by respected sources support our own view that it’s not quite a buyers’ market yet, even though, according to the Nationwide, house prices are just 0.4% higher than this time last year.

The latest Propertymark Housing Report found that NAEA members report a 2.3% monthly drop in the number of house hunters registered per branch. Yet, in the same period, property supply fell by 14%. So, although there would appear to be a softening of activity, demand continues to significantly outstrip supply. Any talk of a property crash is substantially misplaced. Anyone thinking of selling this spring would be well advised to bring this forward asap!

Dear Nigel

I’d like to thank you personally for looking after my late fathers’ sale.  You went about your business in such a fluid way, extremely professional, highly knowledgeable, sensitive and you added a dollop of good humour where needed.  You are a pleasure to work with and everything you said you would do you have, and never compromising on your values as an agent.  

We have 100% trust in your ability knowing you are on our side throughout this process.

Good luck to you.  

Piers Morris, The Old Rectory, Semington – Feb 2019

It’s a funny old thing, the British housing market. Just when you might expect the political uncertainty prompted by the “B” word to dull the market further, it leaps! That’s the way things look from where we’re standing anyway! Not only have we experienced an extremely strong start to the year, both in terms of new instructions and offers agreed, but this appears to be supported across the board.

We are looking for a special someone to join our busy team and work in the leading estate agents as a part time book keeper and sales administrator.  The ideal candidate must be able to work on their own initiative, have book keeping, credit control, sage and finance skills necessary to perform the role and be highly organised to work alongside the managing director.  This is a full time position and customer service skills are also essential.

You must be a car driver / own your own car.  If you have got what it takes please contact Nigel Fitzgerald on 012215 707342

The media would have us believe that the property market is nursing a New Year’s party hangover. Certainly the issues that influenced the market during 2018 remain, such as Brexit-related confusion, lack of supply and affordability problems for first time buyers. And whilst the media does love to scaremonger, they tend to ignore, the perhaps rather boring reality, that the UK property market is actually surprisingly resilient.

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