THE team at one of Basingstoke’s leading independent estate agents are marking a great milestone – its silver jubilee.
Barons Estate Agents caused quite a splash in the town’s property market back in February 1988, when it was founded by Kevin Penfold and Trevor Lee.
The pair got off to a flying start when they celebrated their arrival in town with the sale of a £84,000 Kempshott home, before the business had even officially opened.
Prior to teaming up at their Winton Sqaure offices in Basingstoke’s Top of The Town, they had worked at competing estate agents in the Thames Valley and north Hampshire areas.
Kevin said: “We’d worked for big agencies and we came here with big ideas. We chose Basingstoke because of the amount of roof tops here and we knew it was a progressive town along with its good road and travel links.”
Kevin added: “When we first started in 1988, Basingstoke was probably about half the size it is now. Estates like Hatch Warren were being built.”
Kevin describes Basingstoke as a superb town, ticking a lot of boxes with its modern shopping centres and leisure facilities.
“A lot of people relocate from more expensive areas to Basingstoke because of house prices and because it’s easy to get to London and the coast.”
Having persevered through property slumps, especially in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Kevin and Trevor are upbeat about the future.
Kevin said: “I think lenders are a bit more patient these days. It’s still very tough and we are not out of the woods yet, but I think that the market will slowly return to its former glory – it will all hinge on bank lending.”
In fact business has been good for Barons, with figures for 2012 showing a 20 per cent increase on the previous year.
“Over half of our work comes from recommendation,” said Kevin. “And being in the business for 25 years, we are often selling to second generations where people come to us because we sold homes to their parents. We are now looking forward to the next 25 years.”