Property television programme review

A Surveyor's view of TV programme


Homes under the Hammer


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As Surveyors we note that there are many television programmes covering the property market aired on terrestrial and satellite television stations which we review in this section of our website. Our television review is our light hearted opinion of the television programme and gives a breakdown of the programmes content. In no way are we advertising the television programme or receiving remuneration for promoting it on our website we are simply giving general information.

If you need help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects reports, dilapidations or any other property matters please free phone
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Homes under the Hammer was first aired on BBC television in 2003 and has been a popular BBC One television series ever since. Homes under the Hammer is transmitted during the morning television schedule capturing the audience at its time slot of 10am which includes Mums and stay at home Dads being able to watch after the school run, shift workers, unemployed, retired etc... for those interested in residential or commercial properties with average audiences of two million viewers.

The programme duration is fifty eight minutes and follows properties that go up for auction with who buys them and what the new owners do to alter them. It does not show the property being surveyed by a Surveyor simply you are buying from an auction catalogue with a period of time in which to view the property.


Presenters not surveyors!

Lucy Alexander and Martin Roberts present the Homes under the Hammer television programme with a brief addition of Marc Woodward and Jasmine Birtles in series three.


Lucy Alexander

Lucy Alexander brings her experience of being a property developer to the programme as well as her understanding of interior design, project management and project development. Lucy is married to Stewart Castledine an ex Premier League footballer playing for Wimbledon and lives in London with their two children Kitty Rose and Leo Alexander.

Lucy, is not to be confused with the ITN and Sky News presenter with the same name, has previously presented children's programmes such as Milkshake and with Keith Chegwin and Frank Bruno co-hosted Channel 5's It's a Knockout.

Homes under the Hammer is a perfect format for Lucy with her bubbly personality and wealth of experience in the property field giving a very confident and positive approach to each property she visits.



Martin Roberts

Martin Roberts is also a property developer and has a specialist investment property company which makes him very knowledgeable in this field and perfect to co-host Homes under the Hammer. Martin's partner is Kristy, has two children and lives near Bath with a holiday home in Devon .

Martin is a journalist and author, he has written the book Making Money from Property, as well as running property seminars giving good advice to become successful in the property market.

Martin is a very polished presenter, although not a surveyor who has carried out full structural building surveys and has an abundance of knowledge of this sector giving an informed view of properties featured in the programme.


Homes under the Hammer Programme format

Homes under the Hammer programme format follows three properties that are being sold at auction. The properties vary from city to rural, small apartments to large country houses, commercial as well as residential and land for sale.



The Homes under the Hammer titles are bright showing models of properties, money and piles of roulette chips then a link with Lucy and Martin introducing the show.


The property

Homes under the Hammer show the property to be auctioned prior to auction with either Lucy or Martin guiding the viewer around the property showing the pros and cons to purchasing. The location which is so important when purchasing a property is discussed explaining the general location as well as the property location. A full structural survey by a Surveyor is not present at time of purchase at auction so the purchaser really is taking a gamble on the property they purchase.


The Auction

The cameras are present at the property goes under the hammer with the presenter explaining that when that hammer falls the property is yours.

The successful bidder/s is/are interviewed as they walk around their property explaining what they intend to do with the property. Some new owners are purchasing the property to make into a family home and are not so interested in developing to make a profit whereas others have fixed budgets and time frames in order to develop and sell the property.


Asking property experts' advice

Prior to the new owners purchasing the property and then making alterations and improvements two local estate agents are asked for a sales value for the property and a rental value.

We feel it would be good to have the opinion of a Surveyor as this would give the purchaser an idea of the scale of work to be done. However, full structural surveys take time and with the television programme being made to a budget this may not be possible.

After the new owners have purchased the property and made alterations and improvements local property experts are asked what the new value of the property would be with a reaction from the new owners.


Visits to the property

The television show not only shows the viewer the property prior to auction and with the new owners discussing what they are going to do with the property it also revisits to show the results of any work that has been carried out to the property.

Naturally some properties require far more work to them than others and some owners wish to carry out work quickly to sell and make a profit with budgets in place to do so whereas others wish to live in the property for awhile prior to making changes and improvements with varying budgets and time frames to do so.

Help and advice from a Surveyor prior to purchasing a property is the normal way to go about investing in a property so buying from an auction has its risks.


Homes under the Hammer Transformation

Auctions can make properties affordable as often properties can be purchased for less than the market value but research prior to auction is always recommended. The properties transformation very much depends on the purchasers budget, time frame and reason for purchasing with this part of the programme being crucial to whether the property has increased in value since purchase or not.




Homes under the Hammer Music

The title music is upbeat and bright composed by Michael Burdett with various musical tracks throughout the programme appropriate to the location and properties being featured.




Homes under the Hammer Programme example

In Series 14, episode 164 covered properties in Kyle of Lochalsh, Kent and Liverpool .

On the west coast of Scotland Homes under the Hammer revisits an ex Post Office with sorting area in the popular tourist destination and busy fishing port of Kyle of Lochalsh in the centre of town on the High Street. The property is a large semi-detached which has a commercial area on the ground floor and a residential four bedroom flat on the first floor. The flat had a dated bathroom and kitchen which needed refurbishing, two good size bedrooms, living room and two attic bedrooms above. The property has windows without trickle vents and in some areas is in need of re-plastering.


Trickle Vents Defined

Small vents to the windows to allow air movement inside the property to stop a build up of fumes or humidity.


The property in Scotland was converted into a fish and chip shop on the ground floor and the flat was totally refurbished in order to let.

The second property covered in the programme was in a quiet rural location in Shipbourne in Kent called The Old Stables and was a four bedroom semi-detached house which was converted in the early1960s. The house is Victorian in appearance from the outside but has a 1950s make over feel internally but with some original parquet flooring, some of which was hidden under carpet. The property has a timber clad galley style kitchen and separate dining room which lends itself to being opened up into one larger room, large sliding sash windows and a rather dated blue bathroom in need of updating. The property has a mature garden with several trees which are in influencing distance of the house.

Influencing Distance Defined

This is the distance in which a tree may be able to cause damage to the subject property. It is not quite as simple as our sketch; it depends on the tree, its maturity, the soil type etc., etc.


A young couple purchased the delightful property as a family home for many years to come and on revisiting had carried out much refurbish work including opening up the kitchen/dining room and bringing the property up to a higher decorative standard.


The third property featured on the programme was a mid terraced property in Liverpool which had had some refurbishment work carried out but was by no means complete. The property was purchased by a property developer with his friend, a builder, on hand to carry out the work required to then sell on the property.

On first looking at the property it was felt that the work that was needed to be carried out would not take too long and was predominately decorative but after purchasing the property the new owner found out that the property had been vacant for eight years with water damage from a leaking roof. Almost every wall had to be torn down and replaced as the wall and timbers had wet rot, there was some wet rot to the floor and all the rooms had then to be re-plastered as well as door frames and doors to be replaced.

The purchaser looked to have made a fair profit but obviously would have made more money if they had not come across the issues with the water damage from the roof and the dampness to the walls and floors.



Homes under the Hammer in summary

Homes under the Hammer, in our opinion as Surveyors, is a very informative programme that not only giving the price of the property sold at auction but also what it is worth after the purchaser has made changes to the building. The programme covers properties all over the country with a wide variety of types, styles and ages of properties in a range of locations.

Both Lucy and Martin are, we feel, excellent presenters and no doubt due to their long stint hosting the programme the BBC think likewise. The presenters' knowledge of the property sector makes them informative and for the viewer to have experts in the field it is far more appropriate than to have those who have not.

To improve the programme it may be good to talk to the auction houses more to explain the number and types of properties they have to auction with the auctioneers views and comments.





Reference to other interesting articles on property television programmes and property issues are:-

Help, My House is Falling Down

Help, My Brighton House is Falling Down

Build, Buy or Restore?

Location, Location, Location

Secret Shopper on Estate Agents


Independent Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a Surveyor with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, dilapidations or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a Surveyor to give you a call back.


Independent commercial property surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site


We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

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