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"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.

As we approach the end of the year we find ourselves in politically turbulent times, with the Brexit debate continuing to undermine confidence, but only slightly. Certainly there are some scary concepts being tabled, not least the Governor of the Bank of England suggesting that a no-deal Brexit could trigger property price falls of up to 35%.

Far be it for us to argue with the Governor, but this rather dramatic suggestion relies on a) a no Brexit deal and, b) drastic falls in transaction volumes which are already relatively low as there are very few speculative sellers in the market. Most current sellers have a genuine reason to move – marriage jobs, divorce, children, debt, etc, and these situations are unlikely to be especially affected by any Brexit outcome. In fact, anyone likely to be affected by the long-running Brexit confusion already has been. There are still far more prospective buyers than sellers (especially as it is generally cheaper to buy than to rent) and this is unlikely to change unless money supply were to dry up. This is very unlikely as banks are becoming increasingly competitive to secure any potential fall in mortgage business. Remember, prices only fall when there is an over supply of stock in relation to demand.

Sales to first time buyers, especially, continue to rise and now represent over 23% of the market.

In terms of house prices, whilst Prime Central London may have already dipped by nearly 15% in the past four years, these properties are being sold by extremely wealthy individuals for whom a dramatic price reduction that enables a quick sale is hardly painful, but gets the job done! For everyone else, it’s business as usual, although potential wobbles in market confidence suggest that sellers would be well advised to listen to the advice of a trusted agent – not one who seeks to flatter with an over-optimistic asking price.

Certainly this is the wrong market to be sitting on a property that goes stale on the market, as buyers seek to take advantage of negative media reports, whether of not they turn out to be true! We always find that those properties that sell first tend to achieve the best price too. It is also essential to ensure that your agent is particularly strong in their buyer qualification and sales progression activities; glitches down the chain in a nervous market must be avoided at all costs.

Confusing times? Maybe. But hey, Christmas is round the corner and we look forward to helping our clients take advantage of the traditional spike in buyer activity over the festive season. Happy Christmas to buyer and seller alike!

From a property perspective, it would appear that the latest budget will not be enough to light November’s fireworks. Nevertheless, overall, it did hint at a surprisingly stable economy, with improved growth prospects and an apparent end to the tighter austerity regime.

The one thing the property market needs is to find its own equilibrium with minimal government involvement. We know that a healthy property sector, based on reasonable sales volumes, is good for the economy in terms of jobs, home improvement businesses, SDLT (stamp duty) and VAT revenues. However, past “incentives”, mostly for political gain, but apparently designed to stimulate the market, have often artificially inflated house prices.

"A huge thank you to Lock & Key for their generous donation to Parents and Friends of Shaw (PaFoS), which is a registered Charity and Shaw Primary School's PTA.  We are very lucky to have a Partnership Scheme with Lock & Key to help raise valuable funds for the school.   All that is required is 'upon instruction' to sell your property through Lock & Key that you mention you would like a donation made to PaFoS.  Lock & Key will pay this out of their commission once your property is sold and completed.  Our current focus is to improve the school's outdoor education areas and donations like this will definitely make a difference.

Thank you once again Lock & Key!

Kind regards,

Parents and Friends of Shaw Primary School."

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