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Here you will find a range of articles, blogs and property market report that you may find of interest. Please click the buttons below to read more and feel free to share to your preferred social media channel.

August 2022 – Property Market Comment

Welcome to the August 2022 property market comment. So far this year, we have seen continued growth in the property market, with an average 11% increase in house prices over the past year. We’ve enjoyed activity, confidence and recently, an increased volumes of sales. It’s been a good year so far. But there are now signs of an expected slowdown. Nothing dramatic, but it is interesting to note that the Nationwide reported house price growth of just 0.1% last month,…

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Our 6 Top Tips to Improving your Chances

Without wishing to alarm anyone, nationally, around 37% of sales arranged fail to proceed to exchange and completion. The system of property transfer we have in this country is still relatively archaic, although it is slowly improving. Until we have a universal system of binding offers and instant digital document processing, the reason why most sales fall through is because there is a huge time window within which either party can change their mind without penalty. Part of our job…

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How to Prepare for Viewings so Buyers Fall in Love with your Home

So, you’ve got the ball rolling with the house on the market, and your first viewing is booked in – it’s an exciting time! But the next step is one of the most important when it comes to selling your home – and that’s the preparation that goes on behind the scenes before a potential buyer’s visit. Remember, first impressions count, so making sure you’ve covered all bases when prepping is what will really charm a buyer into putting their…

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Information is Power

Many estate agents pride themselves on their extensive experience and local knowledge. Indeed, it is extremely important that your agent is fully conversant with every aspect of the locality and the market if they are to be effective in helping purchasers with the right advice needed to buy your home. However, too many agents assume they can “wing it” when it comes to assessing the most appropriate asking price for your property. The issue of correct valuation is paramount. Ask…

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Property Market Comment with Nigel Fitzgerald – June 2022

Here's the latest video from our proud business owner; Nigel Fitzgerald talking about the property market in June 2022. If you are thinking of selling your property in Melksham (or the surrounding areas) talk to Nigel and book your valuation here online. 

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July 2022 Market Comment with Richard

Welcome to the July 2022 property market comment. The recent political turbulence we have all witnessed, with dozens of ministerial resignations, which eventually brought down our Prime Minister, would throw other countries into disarray. But not the UK it seems–in fact we have become quite used to political farce, to the extent that we just keep calm and carry on! And this certainly applies to the property market too. Despite the fact that we are mid-summer, we’ve had some interest…

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8 Ways to Work with your Estate Agent for the Best Results

So, you’ve picked out your estate agent to help sell your home, but what’s the next step? While for the most part the baton is now with the agent, who’s responsible for keeping the progress of the sale on track, there are still some things you can do to achieve the very best desired outcome when selling your house. Try looking at it this way: you and your estate agent are now a team. You’re on the same side and…

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Digging Deep

Converting an existing cellar or basement into living accommodation can be an option for those who want a larger home, but without the cost of moving. Money is probably better put into actual bricks and mortar than it is into stamp duty, legal fees, estate agency and removal costs! A basement conversion can add significantly to the value of your home, especially following the pandemic, and can often be created without the need for extensive building works. Older property can…

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June 2022 – Property Market Update with Richard

Welcome to the June 2022 property market comment. (Scroll down to watch Richards video) The Jubilee weekend kicked off the summer in style, although from a property perspective, it feels like we’re in the height of a traditional spring market – with high levels of activity from buyers and sellers alike – many of whom have been waiting to act and are now doing so. You may have seen in the media that higher inflation, leading to a noticeable increase…

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How to use Creative Photography to Market your High Value Home

Nine times out of ten, where is the first place a potential buyer will see your home? You guessed it – in a photograph! Whether it be online through a laptop screen or mobile phone, or on the street in an estate agent’s shop window, that small viewing frame should be treated as the place to showcase all the best angles of your home and have people longing for the lifestyle they see at the end of the lens. This,…

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First Impressions are Critical – Our Top Tips!

First impressions are not only important when selling your home, they are critical. When people come to view a property for the first time, they are unlikely to be scrutinising the unseen. They are simply trying to get a feel for the property. They will be bombarded with mostly visual impressions, many of which you can positively influence. For example, if your kitchen is looking tired, it can easily be spruced up with new cabinet doors. Even just replacing the…

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Interest Rates Rise Again

Here at Lock & Key, we are always on the look out for stats and updates to help inform our clients about the last news, views and stats in the property industry. Here are some interesting takeaway points from the recent rise in Interest Rates. UK interest rates were raised for the fourth time since December (on 5th May 2022), by a quarter of a percentage point to 1%. This is the fastest increase in borrowing costs in 25 years.…

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May 2022 – Market Comment

Here's Richard's Market Comment for May 2022. As you may know, the Bank of England has just announced a further 0.25% increase in interest rates. That’s the fourth consecutive rise since December, when it was just 0.1%. It’s now 1%-still remarkably low. This rise was not unexpected and is no doubt a wise move to curb inflation which is predicted to top 10% by the end of the year. Bear in mind that much of this inflation is caused by…

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Beware of the ‘Under-Valuer’

We British remain passionate about home ownership. Yet the banks, who are also involved, burnt their fingers in the past with wildly generous lending and they are keen not to make the same mistake again. They are also cautious about the dramatic hike in prices during the pandemic. One effect of this, which could affect you if you are currently buying or selling, is the undervaluing bank-appointed valuer! When your property goes on the market, your agent’s job is to…

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May 2022 – Property Market Update with Nigel Fitzgerald

What is happening in the current property market? Here's our proud business owner; Nigel Fitzgerald, to provide you with an update for May 2022. If you would like to discuss selling your property in Melksham and the surrounding areas, we would love to speak with you.  Call us on 01225 707 342 or book your valuation here online. 

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Style Your Garden to Sell in 6 Easy Steps

What does your garden mean to you? For us, it can be summarised in three simple words: entertainment, enjoyment and peace. With it being such a pleasurable, versatile space, it’s no wonder several studies show that it’s within the top three priorities for a potential buyer. Surrounding your house at both front and back, it’s a large area that requires just as much pre-viewing preparation as any room inside – and that’s where we’re here to help! Tidying the garden…

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Offers in Context

When you market your property, you will naturally want to achieve the highest price today’s market will pay. But how do you know what this is? Sadly, there is no almanac of “correct” prices relating to an address and a date, and online price “calculators” can be wildly inaccurate, so most people will take the advice of their chosen estate agent to guide them towards the right decision. The statistical data to which we as agents have access can be…

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April Property Market Comment

Here's Richard with the latest property market comment for April 2022. What does the current property prices mean for homeowners? Watch the video below to find out a little bit more. As always, if you need any advice, you are welcome to reach out to us and talk to our experienced team. Alternatively, you can book a valuation here on our website. 

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Sell your home at Easter for a Summer Move

Spring is a wonderful time to sell a home – the buds are budding, gardens are springing into life, and a little bit of sunshine makes everyone’s home look better. Plus, buyers have traditionally always started home searching in the spring, and the property portals tell us this is still the case today. If you’re thinking of selling your home, or your home is on the market right now, you may have some questions about how to make your move…

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Thinking of Erecting a Garden Building?

Erecting a shed, summerhouse or other outbuilding can be a fast, cheap and enjoyable way of maximising the use of your garden. Some small buildings can be built without planning permission, but there are certain aspects that should be considered before embarking on such a project: 1. Size Outdoor structures must be single storey with eaves no higher than 2.5 metres, with the overall maximum height being 4 metres for a dual pitched (inverted V-shape) or 3 metres for a…

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Property Market Update – March 2022

Here's Nigel with a brief update on the current property market in March 2022. Looking to sell this Spring? Get in touch with Nigel and his team by clicking this link to book a valuation.

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March Property Market Comment

As we exit what has been an extraordinarily upbeat winter in terms of the property market, we enter a slightly confusing Spring market. Spring has historically been the most active season for home-movers, because it’s a time of growth, change and renewal. We British come out of hibernation and look to the future, hoping to take advantage of the longer days and better weather, and if we can move before the end of the school year in September, then now…

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Improvement Preference

During the course of the ownership of your home, you will no doubt consider a number of improvements that you hope will add value, or at least recoup the money spent, when you eventually come to sell. However, it is impossible to predict the tastes and preferences of your future buyer, so how do you know whether a particular improvement is worthwhile? A good rule of thumb is to recognise that the most likely buyer for your property is probably…

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Wow your buyers! 12 styling tips they’ll love

“Give your home the ‘wow’ factor!” We’ve all heard this advice from property experts, but what does it mean? And how do you do it? Most importantly, is it worth the time and effort it may cost you? All good questions, and the answers will be revealed in this article – so let’s dive in… “What’s a ‘wow’ factor anyway?” It’s that elusive magic ingredient that turns a home from standard to exceptional; from forgettable to unforgettable; from ‘meh’ to…

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Home For Baby

Becoming a family is probably the greatest motivator for a move there is, and the choice of home is usually an accurate reflection of the significant social change that people experience at this time. The property needs of a single person, or couple are more likely to be motivated by their social standing, entertainment patterns, convenience or investment potential. However, once a couple becomes a family, new practical, financial and emotional influences substantially shift this focus. Every aspect of life…

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It’s all smiles for our competition winner!

Pictured here with proud business owner; Nigel Fitzgerald is our Valentine's competition winner; Gemma Harris who picked up her voucher for a meal for 2 at CASA Italian Restaurant and Bar in Melksham.   On behalf of the team here at Lock & Key, we hope you have an amazing meal Gemma ! #Valentines #Competition

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Valentine’s Competition WINNER Announced!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all! Thank you to everyone who entered our exciting Valentine's giveaway/competition on Facebook. We had lots of answers to our question; What do you prefer, Pizza or Pasta?. There can only be one winner and our congratulations go to Gemma Harris! On behalf of the team here at Lock & Key, we hope you have an amazing time at CASA Italian in Melksham. Don't forget to get a photo and tag us in the post!

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Top Tips For First Time Buyers – #3

First time buyers do not always demonstrate to estate agents the same level of urgency as someone who is keen to sell. But If you are eager to view, you'll be top of the list when something new comes on the market. Here are some other tips for first time buyers: Be prepared to view at short notice. This not only demonstrates your seriousness, but also means that you will be among the first to see properties that have just…

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February 2022 Market Comment

It’s well known that confidence is key to a healthy property market. Or it used to be at least. The pandemic didn’t dent it – quite the opposite in fact. There are a number of issues: rapidly rising energy prices, an unstable government, uncertainty in the Ukraine, and especially inflation that could potentially take the edge off a market which last month saw buyer demand up 16% on 2021 and up 24% on 2020. That inflation – now predicted to…

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Should I sell my home now? How the current shortage affects your home’s price

2021 was a tremendous year for home price growth in the UK – the strongest since the mid-2000s – with many areas and types of home seeing values increase by double-figure percentages. This means a house bought for £500,000 only two years ago could be worth up to £600,000 today! The huge imbalance between supply and demand, with many more buyers than homes available, has been the key driver behind these extraordinary increases. If you own a unique home and…

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Top Tips For First Time Buyers – #2

In the second of our series about aspects of buying a property for the first time, here we consider the issue of buying with a friend. When buying for the first time, affordability is inevitably a concern. Many people find that this can be overcome by purchasing with someone else. This certainly makes the money go further and also spreads both costs and risk. However, no matter how well you get on with your co-owner, if one of you can't…

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Valentine’s Competition!

We are delighted to have teamed up with Casa Restaurant & Bar in Melksham for our Valentine's competition. Head over to our Facebook page here  and tell us in the comments whether you prefer PIZZA or PASTA? This is a flash giveaway for one lucky winner to receive a meal for two up to the value of £50, courtesy of the team here at Lock & Key in Melksham. The competition ends on Monday 14th February 2022 at Midday and…

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Top Tips For First Time Buyers – #1

As the average age of first-time buyers continues to rise - the latest figures suggest this is now 35, so the market is less driven from below, but by a complex combination of personal, local and national factors. Yet even if you are in your 30’s, buying your first property can seem pretty scary! “Am I making the right decision?”, “Can we really afford this?”, “What if the market falls?”, “Should we have offered less?” are understandable questions. So here…

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January 2022 – Property Market Comment

Happy New Year! Here's Richard with our January 2022 Property Market Comment. A year ago, we predicted that 2021 would not be able to sustain the 7.3% house price growth experienced in 2020. Even the most bullish economists predicted no more than a 4.5% increase for 2021, yet, according to the Nationwide, 2021 closed with a 10.8% increase in the average UK property price. Who’d have thought, during a severe pandemic, and as the effects of Brexit begin to bite,…

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New Year, New Move

The new year encourages many of us to make positive changes in our lives. A popular choice is pledging to do more exercise, while some people might decide to learn a new skill. But if you were one of the many sellers who put their home on the market last year and you haven’t yet found a buyer, this new year you’re probably resolving to get that sale! As estate agents, we find that pretty much every new year brings…

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Happy New Year!

On behalf of the team here at Lock & Key in Melksham, we would like to be the first to wish you a Happy New Year! Here's Nigel Fitzgerald with his New Year message for you all.  Thinking of selling your property in 2022? Get in touch with Melksham's number one estate agent for 12 years in a row. Click here to book your valuation. Alternatively, you are welcome to get an instant online valuation here in under 60…

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Christmas Message with Nigel Fitzgerald

Here's proud business owner; Nigel Fitzgerald with his Christmas 2021 message talking about the year to date and looking ahead as we approach the New Year. On behalf of everyone here at Lock & Key, we would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas.  Thinking of selling your property in 2022? Get in touch with Melksham's number one estate agent for 12 years in a row and book your valuation here online

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Christmas Competition Winner Announced

Each year, we like to share the love as much as possible and help bring some Christmas cheer to one lucky winner with a £100 Christmas meat hamper from I.D Newman & Sons Butchers in Melksham. This year, we asked "What's the one thing you like about Christmas dinner and why?" We are delighted to announce that this year's winner is....... LIAM CRIPPS!  Congratulations Liam and we loved your answer; "Incredible food, great wine and plenty of awful cracker jokes!"…

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Interest Rate Announcement

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee has today announced a rise in the bank base rate from 0.1% to 0.25%. This was surprising considering that they held off doing so last month when conditions we not dissimilar. Nevertheless, with inflation soaring over 5% (the target is 2%), the bank was bound eventually to do something in response to rising prices and a “Post Covid” hike in consumer spending. It was thought that the new Omicron variant might prevent such…

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December 2021 – Property Market Update with Nigel Fitzgerald

Here's our proud business owner; Nigel Fitzgerald, talking about the property market update for December and a look ahead as we enter into 2022. If you are looking to sell your home in the New Year and would like a head start in the marketing of your property, reach out to our team and book a valuation online here. Alternatively, you are welcome to get an instant online valuation of your property in under 60 seconds on our website.

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December 2021 – Property Market Comment

"What an extraordinary year it has been in 2021" Here's Richard with the latest 'Property Market Update' for December 2021. If you would like more information about the local property market for Melksham and the surrounding area, we'd love to speak with you. You are also welcome to book a valuation with our team here online.   

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We couldn’t recommend Nigel and the team at Lock & Key enough.

Following on from our wonderful testimonial last week, we have received another one this week and this time from Jodie Rodgers who was 'over the moon' with the service they received from Nigel and the team. Jodie said "We couldn’t recommend Nigel and the team at Lock & Key enough. Highly professional service and responsive communication with a personal touch. Nigel listed our property within a week of us getting in touch and I can confidentially say that the way…

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How saleable is your home? Try our saleability scorecard and see

Selling a home might not be an exact science, but there are a number of factors that will make a huge difference to how successful your sale will be. Our experience has shown us that homes that sell quickly and for a good price tend to have certain key things in common, so we’ve developed a checklist that we can use to analyse the saleability of any home. We rate various elements of your marketing approach across five categories, awarding…

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Competition Winner Announced!

Everyone loves a competition. Right? Thank you to everyone who has entered our most recent competition on Facebook to win a £100 voucher from the Whitehall Garden Centre, where we asked you to tell us the time from the clock on the wall of our 'First Time Buyer' video on our brand new website. The correct answer was 1.22 (or 13.22) and a massive CONGRATULATIONS to Tessa Moore who guessed the correct time. Look out for another comp coming your…

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Another happy client for Nigel and the team!

We love what we do here at Lock & Key but we love it even more when our clients write such wonderful reviews like this one below from Carl Moore. Carl took the time to write this 5 Star review for us on Google and it has been well appreciated by the whole team here in our office. The title of Carl's review was 'Professionalism' and this is a standard we live and work by every single day for our…

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We won GOLD!!!!

Over the last 12 years, we have remained the number one estate agent in Melksham. This is something that our team have worked hard for and been dedicated to maintain. Today, it was even more fitting to be announced a GOLD WINNER by AllAgents.com, which is the UK's largest customer review website for the property industry. We are proud of this achievement and by the looks of the reviews we received, our clients love the service we have provided them.…

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November 2021 Market Comment

Here’s a quick overview of the property market this November. WATCH Richard's video here The manic race for space prompted by the SDLT concession has started to ease and we are now experiencing a near-normal healthy property market, albeit with a little less stock than expected, because we have sold most of it! According to the Halifax, the average UK property price now exceeds £270,000, with annual house price inflation at 8.1% - where else can you get that sort…

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7 Tips to Sell Your Home in Winter

If you’re ready to move, you might be wondering whether to put your home on the market now or wait until the spring. Well, although winter may traditionally be a quieter time for home-moving than spring and summer, the market is still very much open for business and selling your home in this colder season does have its benefits. As those who aren’t in a hurry to move tend to hunker down and focus on festivities, buying and selling activity…

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The Cost of Buying a Home Explained

We all know we need to provide a deposit for a mortgage but, how much does it actually cost to buy a home and what fees are involved? Read on for our handy guide to the costs associated with buying a home. Deposits and Mortgage Arrangement Fees A deposit is typically 5 - 10% of the purchase price and is the biggest cost involved in buying a property. The bigger deposit you put down against your mortgage, the lower your monthly mortgage…

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Three Times Over

Having been established in Melksham for so many years we sometimes feel we are part of the area almost as much as the properties we sell. We’ve taken great pride in welcoming new homeowners there over the years, and sadly said our fair share of farewells too. We’ve seen businesses, shops and restaurants open up and hopefully thrive, although the pandemic has clearly exerted its pressure on many, and we wish them all well. We recently sold a house in…

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