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Figures released from various sources suggest that the market – in terms of house prices at least, are holding their own, despite the political uncertainty we are currently witnessing. Year on year figures range from +0.6% (Land Registry) to +1.1% (Halifax). Nothing spectacular as an investment return, but it does demonstrate once again how resilient and reliable property can be – especially when it is regarded as a home rather than a commodity.

In the absence of the speculative buyers of yesteryear, the fact is that today’s buyers still need to buy and they have real reasons for doing so – job, marriage, children, divorce, debt, death etc. Affordability is at a record high and both unemployment and interest rates remain at a record low. In other words, all the metrics are in place for sustained stability in the housing market. If anything were to have dramatically affected the property market – it would have done so by now; and any issues caused by a weaker pound have apparently been offset by an influx of overseas investors looking to pick up a bargain.

This year, September reveals a mixed bag on the property scene. On the one hand, nationally, the number of new property listings in the UK fell by a whopping 13.2 per cent last month*. On the other hand, the latest figures by UK Finance suggest a strong growth in first-time-buyers - up 5.8% year on year.

Certainly the number of new-to-market properties traditionally declines over the summer months, but this usually ramps up again in September. It will be interesting to note if this turns out to be the case this year in view of the political uncertainties of Brexit and a possible election on the cards.

We always get asked two questions by our clients: 1) How is the property market in Melksham doing? and 2) Are properties selling?

We are always honest with our clients and we always have the statistics to prove this.


These stats have been taken from Rightmove on 11-09-2019






  • £3,485 is the estimated average cost of school uniforms for a child over the course or their school life (Reception to Year 11).
  • The cost is equivalent to 4.31 months of a mortgage repayment or 3.31 months’ of average rent, although there are substantial regional variations.
  • Across the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber, the total cost of kitting out a child is more than eight times an average monthly mortgage repayment, while across London the cost of two months’ rent is on par with school uniform costs.
  • Across the country, 8.4 million children are predicted to return to primary or secondary school this week, a total uniform bill in the region of £2.4 billion.

Hi Folks, my summer observations are this, here we are mid-summer holidays, and the market is generally regarded as subdued. However, due to the continued lack of stock, we are still securing some excellent prices locally. Certainly, volumes are down but ask any buyer or seller and they are less concerned about “the market” and more interested in their own situation. This usually revolves around a single property, so volumes are irrelevant!

We are acutely aware of the personal requirements and emotions behind every sale, so we handle each property as if it were the only one on our books. The summer holidays are almost an annoying inconvenience to buyers who are keen to find a property and get on with their lives.

Hi Folks, so typically during the summer selling season there is a glut of homes coming to the market in our Melksham property market. However, this summer there has been roughly an 18 per cent fall in the number of homes for sale due to what I believe is the “protracted political hiatus.”

The once-humble garden shed is currently enjoying a revival – but in unexpected ways. Higher property values mean that space inevitably continues to attract a premium, and imaginative householders are cashing in on this by maximising every square inch of space.

Property-related TV programmes have inspired people into considering what can be done with minimal space and the once male-dominated garden shed is no longer simply used for storing lawn mowers, tricycles, gardens chairs and creosote. Today’s sheds are as likely to be used by women as their sanctuary in a frantic world.

As British politics continues to be a bit of a bun fight, the great British homebuying public is taking a more pragmatic approach and appears to have disconnected from such trivialities, with buyer registrations nudging up by between 4% and 9% across the UK*. This year, the spring market appears to have overflowed into the summer, with no sign of any seasonal slowdown.

Although the summer holidays have yet to begin in earnest, anybody seriously looking to move house is unlikely to be deterred by the interruption of their annual holiday. Speculative buyers used to take a break over the summer, but today’s market is less sensitive to such traditions. So if you are selling and you are tempted to take your house off the market for the summer – our advice would be that you should not! There are currently 12 buyers chasing every listing (28 in London)* which is helping to maintain prices and if you are not on the market, we guarantee you won’t sell!

Three personally delicate factors that are known to prompt a property sale are debt, divorce, and death. Each one needs to be handled with sensitivity, discretion and care, especially when the last one, death, is involved.

As estate agents, we have handled many probate sales. A probate sale is the sale of a property on behalf of the executors of a deceased estate as part of the realisation of the deceased’s assets for distribution to any heirs and beneficiaries.

Nigel, Amanda and Julie have helped us to obtain the sale stc of our house which made it a lot easier on the 'little grey cells'. They are a great team, even when Nigel slid off on a sneaky holiday, under the guise of getting married. Amanda and Julie upheld the professionalism of Lock & Key with amazing tenacity, and we personally thank them for that, and wish Nigel and his new bride, all the happiness in their future together. We believe that anybody looking for a property in the area covered by Lock & Key, could do no better than use the services of these guys. Best wishes for the future.

Mervyn and Jackie Middleton, Corncockle Close, Melksham – June 2019

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!

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