Belfast Telegraph

Belfast property firm Lambert Smith Hampton 'up for sale'

By John Mulgrew

Commercial property firm Lambert Smith Hampton - which has a major Belfast office - is being put on the market by its owners, it's been reported. Estate agency Countrywide, which is listed, is due to put the company on sale, according to Estates Gazette.

Lambert Smith Hampton employs around 80 staff at its Belfast office.

Just last month, it took the award for 'Property Deal of the Year' at the Belfast Telegraph Property Awards 2016.

The agency was also named Northern Ireland's most active property agent, and overall regional winner in the EGi Deals Competition for 2015.

No one from Lambert Smith Hampton was available for comment last night. The firm took over a range of businesses after it was bought by Countrywide. That includes BTWShiells in Belfast, as well as Tushingham Moore, ES Group and Douglas Newman.

Last month, Countrywide warned that profits will come in at the "lower end of market expectations", amid reduced activity following the EU referendum and changes to stamp duty.

The UK's biggest listed estate agency said transaction levels were running "significantly below" last year.

In a third-quarter trading statement released last month, Countrywide said: "A combination of changes in stamp duty and the EU referendum in June, means transaction levels are currently running significantly below 2015.

"We now expect transaction volumes for 2016 to be 6% down on 2015 and, while too early to say definitively, it is likely that the level of market transactions in 2017 will be lower than 2016."

Sales in the period fell from £197m to £189m.

And it was the London market bearing the brunt of the slowdown, as volumes fell 29% year on year.

Meanwhile, overall house exchanges fell 1%.

Belfast Telegraph