Hamptons International - at one time tipped to be sold off or even shut during the recent problems afflicting parent company Countrywide - is marking its 150th year in business in 2019.
The firm started life in 1869 with an office on London’s Pall Mall, with eight members of staff. But in more recent decades it has been the subject of a spectacular series of acquisitions which has seen its emphasis change and on occasions some shadows be cast over its future.
During the 1980s it was bought by Bristol & West Building Society; then in 1996 it was purchased by Cluttons London Residential Agency, and then in 2005 it was acquired by Wheelock Properties (Singapore) limited.
In 2006 the Dubai-based global real estate giant Emaar Properties acquired Hamptons and then in 2010 it was snapped up by Countrywide, then the UK's largest estate agency; it remains one of two upmarket brands - along with John D Wood - in Countrywide’s stable today.
Now it has over 90 offices in London and the south of England with more 1,000 members of staff. It is also represented in over 30 countries overseas providing buyers with access to over 100,000 properties.
Celebrations to mark the 150th birthday will run throughout 2019.
Every staff member was given an extra day off on January 2 to mark the start of the anniversary year while later this month a fleet of 15 Hamptons-branded taxis take to the streets of London.
One lucky client will also get a perk - the owner of the 150th property of the year to be sold or let will not be charged.
“We could not be more thrilled to have reached this exciting milestone of 150 years. 150 years of vision and purpose along with the efforts of our fantastic people make Hamptons International the commercially successful and brilliant business it is today” according to Lesley Cairns, managing director.
“Hamptons is a respected heritage brand with an incredible legacy and I know this year, as custodians of the brand, we will do the business proud” she adds.