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Franchise group says Fees Ban will have only limited effect

Hunters says its franchise agents and offices may suffer less than other firms thanks to their sales operations.

Addressing the Hunters Group annual meeting at the end of last week, chairman Kevin Hollinrake - himself a Tory MP in the last Parliament and standing as a Conservative candidate in the June 8 General Election - said: “Our exposure is expected to be less significant than other lettings only based participants given our strong sales profile.” 

Hollinrake reported that in the four months to April this year the group opened six new branches through organic growth and a further 15 branches with the acquisition of Bristol-based Besley Hill.

This means the Hunters network is now 204 branches, up from 172 a year ago. 

“The first half year is expected to end better than anticipated considering the distortionary effect of the changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax for second homes which took place in March 2016, and we have confidence in the full year outcome for the group” explained Hollinrake.

He said Hunters’ customer service ratings achieved 96 per cent across both sales and lettings and the firm retains “a healthy pipeline of parties looking to join the network.” 

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