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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!

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

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