Hamptons International

Hamptons International is an estate agent (real estate broker) chain that has an international network of more than 93 branches. Hamptons International was bought by Countrywide in 2010 from real estate giant Emaar Properties.

Hamptons International
IndustryReal estate
ServicesResidential sales and lettings
ParentCountrywide plc


The business was established in 1830 by William Hampton who started his career with a furniture shop on Cranbourn Street, London. Hampton was later joined by his sons George and William Powell, with his grandsons Harold, Fred and Clarence also later joining the firm.[1]

In 1869 the firm created new premises at 8 Pall Mall East and 1–3 Dorset Place (now Whitcomb Street). In 1890 the firm's records were almost totally destroyed in a fire which broke out in their offices.[1] As a result, a new estate office was provided and staff moved to offices at 1 Cockspur Street. A limited company was created with George Hampton as Chairman and Managing Director. In 1900 a satellite office was opened on Wimbledon Common.[2] As the firm continued to expand it took over control of a number of other firms, beginning with James Coulson and Co of Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 1898, and in the early 1950s Goodall, Lamb and Highway of King Street, Manchester and Robson and Sons Ltd of Newcastle upon Tyne.[1]

In 1920, Hampton & Sons', Estate Agents & Auctioneers, moved to 20 St James's Square, London W.1. During the 1920s, the successful auction house arm was involved in the sale of, amongst other things, the Michelham Collection in 1926 (when the record auction price of 74,000 guineas was achieved for the painting 'Pinkie' by Sir Thomas Lawrence[3]) and the Cameroon Islands.[2] In 1926 the firm opened a factory at Ingate Place, Battersea close to the firm's existing depository. Amongst the firm's notable contracts were the liners RMS Queen Elizabeth, RMS Queen Mary, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Duke of York's Theatre, The Dorchester and The May Fair Hotels and the palaces of two Indian princes, that of the Nizam of Hyderabad and of the Maharajah of Kashmir.[1]

Having sold their St James's Square premises to The Distillers Company,[4] in 1936 the Estate Office moved to the former French embassy building on Arlington Street,[2] and by 1953 boasted further offices in Kensington, Wimbledon, Bournemouth and Bishops Stortford.[5] During at least the 1940s, the parent company was listed on the Stock Market.[6]

On the night of 16 November 1940 an incendiary bomb hit the Pall Mall premises and the greater part of the building was destroyed. Temporary one-storeyed buildings were erected on the site but these were eventually demolished in 1957 following the sale of the site to the Canadian Government. In October 1940 the firm had acquired a controlling interest in the firm of Storey & Co Ltd of Kensington High Street and it was there that the firm established its new headquarters.[1]

Between February 13 and February 22, 1950, Hampton and Sons auctioned off the fittings of the luxury liner RMS Aquitania in Shed 108 at Southampton.[7] In 1952, the furniture side of the firm was involved, at a cost of £68,357, in the restoration of the Council Chamber of The Town Hall, Richmond (damaged during World War II), and at the same time were involved in the fitting out of the Royal Yacht Britannia[8]

On 1 January 1957 the Estate Agency was purchased from the parent company (by now Camp Bird Limited, who had acquired Hampton & Sons' Limited around the same time[9]) when a partnership was formed by the founder's grandson, Mr PWP Hampton[10][11] (the furniture store in Kensington was sold by Camp Bird in March 1959[12]). By 1963 the firm comprised the offices at Arlington Street, and two further offices (one in Wimbledon and one in Mayfield).[13]

By late 1986 discussions were underway for the business to be purchased by Abaco Investments, a company led by Peter Goldie.[14] The purchase was completed in 1987[15] for a sum of over £15 million.[16] Abaco had taken over the commercial agency Lambert Smith & Partners for £12.6m in 1986 and this firm was amalgamated with Hamptons.[17]

During the 1980s there was a period of expansion and acquisition, with a number of historic firms being purchased and rebranded as Hamptons. These included Christopher Rowland,[2] Messenger May & Baverstock (with 10 offices in Surrey and Hampshire, purchased by Abaco for £5.32 million in July 1986),[18] Levens (established in 1870, purchased February 1987 for £5.63 million),[19] Giddy & Giddy (24 branches across Berkshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, purchased in March 1987 for £7.5 million),[20] Dennis Pocock & Drewett, one of the largest independent estate agents in Wiltshire for £4 million in June 1987,[21] Taylor Dixon Porter (whose seven offices in West London were purchased for £3.5 million in August 1987) and WH Robinson of Manchester just a day later for £3.4 million. By this time Abaco held 110 estate agency branches.[22] Further acquisitions followed in 1987 with the addition of Anthony Brown Stewart and Eadon Lockwood & Riddle. In January 1988 Lambert Smith and Partners was rebranded and relaunched to become Lambert Smith Hampton.[17]

After an aborted bid in the latter part of 1987 which was cancelled due to the stock market collapse, British and Commonwealth Holdings took control of the 70.1% of Abaco Investments it did not already own in 1988, in a bid worth 72 pence per share. By this time Peter Goldie had been appointed Chief Executive of British and Commonwealth and therefore he took no part in negotiations over the takeover of Abaco.[23] In February 1989, Hamptons acquired the residential agency business of Halls Residential[24] and the business of Neale and Aldridge.[17] From early 1989 the company centralised accounting and administration functions with the regional administration offices of the predecessor partnerships being closed and responsibility transferred to a new central administration department in Guildford. Whilst this transition was not without its issues, by early 1990 the problems were resolved.[24]

British and Commonwealth went into administration in June 1990[25] and despite the directors having assembled a management buyout,[16] Hamptons was purchased by Bristol and West Building Society in September 1990.[26] Lambert Smith Hampton was subject to a management buyout in early 1991 for a price tag of £5 million.[17]

Due to difficult trading conditions, the company announced at the beginning of 1993 its plan to close some of its branches during the course of the year.[27] These plans continued with 25 further branches closing during 1995.[28]

In February 1996, Hamptons was purchased by Cluttons London Residential Agency (CLRA)[2] for £3.8million and the Hong Kong operations of the combined company were renamed Cluttons-Hamptons in April 1996.[29] There followed a programme of branch refurbishments and computerisation during the rest of 1996, with the board reporting at year end that "turnover and profit exceeded the Board's expectations".[30]

With the acquisitions of the 1980s the Hamptons business came to include two fine art auction rooms at Godalming (ex Messenger May & Baverstock) and Marlborough (ex Dennis Pocock & Son) and these traded as Hamptons Fine Arts. Hamptons Fine Arts was purchased from the firm in January 2005 by The Fine Art Auction Group joining their existing businesses Dreweatt Neate Fine Art and Neales of Nottingham.[31] Hamptons director Richard Madley joined TFAAG's board and continued to run the Godalming and Marlborough salerooms which were rebranded as Dreweatt Neate after what the group called "a period of settling in".[32] The rebranded Marlborough and Godalming salerooms were subsequently closed in 2006[33]

In 2005 Hamptons International was purchased by Wheelock Properties (Singapore) Limited. In August 2006, the global real estate giant, Emaar Properties bought Hamptons International for £104 million.[34]

In June 2010, Hamptons International's UK, European, Asian and Latin American businesses were acquired by Countrywide Plc, Emaar retained the Middle East and North African businesses.[34] Earlier in 2010, Hamptons had launched a valuations business led by Nigel Macdonald.[35]

In January 2014, Hamptons acquired the north London and Home Counties estate agency Preston Bennett which specialised in high end properties as well as having planning, land and development services departments.[36] This was followed in June with the purchase of Humphreys Skitt & Co, a firm founded in 1793,[37] and the purchase of the letting business of Humberts in July of the same year.[38] Further acquisitions over the coming years included the firm of John Curtis in Hertfordshire[39] and Ikon in East London, both in March 2015,[40] Greene & Co/Urban Spaces of North West London in May 2015[41] and Patterson Bowe of West London in March 2016.[42]

In 2019 Hamptons International are celebrating their 150th anniversary.


The Company has an international network of more than 93 offices throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e The National Archives. City of Westminster Archive Centre - Hamptons and Sons Ltd, furnishers, 8 Pall Mall and 1-3 Whitcomb Street. Available online at [1]. Accessed 19 June 2019.   This article contains quotations from this source, which is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright.
  2. ^ a b c d e Property100.co.uk. Hamptons. Available online at [2]. Accessed 28 April 2017.
  3. ^ All Things Bournmoor. Lambton Castle > 1932 Auction . Available online at [3]. Accessed 28 April 2017.
  4. ^ Sheppard, F.H.W. (Ed). The Survey of London - Volumes 29 and 30 St James Westminster, Part 1 (Vol I). pp.164-174. London: Athlone Press for the LCC. 1960. Available online at [4]. Accessed 19 June 2019.
  5. ^ Hampton and Sons. The Times, 9 June 1953. pp.12.
  6. ^ Stock Exchange Prices. The Times, 19 January 1942. pp.7.
  7. ^ MaritimeQuest. HMS/HMHS Aquitania. Available online at [5]. Accessed 10 June 2019.
  8. ^ London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames. Local History Notes - The Old Town Hall, Richmond. Available online at [6]. Accessed 10 June 2019.
  9. ^ Grace's Guide to British Industrial History. Camp Bird. Available online at [7]. Accessed 28 April 2017.
  10. ^ Grace's Guide to British Industrial History. Hampton and Sons. Available online at [8]. Accessed 28 April 2017.
  11. ^ News in Brief - Hampton & Sons Changes Hands. The Times, 17 January 1957. pp.8.
  12. ^ Camp Bird Sells Hamptons. The Times, 19 March 1959. pp.20.
  13. ^ Hampton and Sons. The Times, 12 February 1963. pp.20.
  14. ^ Standard Chartered buying 12.7pc stake in Abaco. Business Times (Singapore), 11 December 1986. pp.10.
  15. ^ Hume, Lucy (Ed). "Underhill, Nicholas Peter", Debrett's People of Today: 2017. London: Debrett's Ltd. 2016.
  16. ^ a b Lawson, David. Making it big in the small time: David Lawson speaks to estate agents whose businesses were bought up by giant corporations in the boom and who have returned - happily, in the most part - to their old patches. The Independent, 23 January 1993. Available online at [9]. Accessed 11 December 2017.
  17. ^ a b c d Hatcher, David. The Wild Bunch. Property Week, 20 November 2009. Available online at [10]. Accessed 27 August 2019.
  18. ^ Abaco Buy. The Times, 15 July 1986. pp.21.
  19. ^ Abaco Buys Estate Agency. The Times, 13 February 1987. pp.23.
  20. ^ Giddy Buy for Abaco. The Times, 27 March 1987. pp.20.
  21. ^ Abaco in £4m Buy. The Times, 12 June 1987. pp.26.
  22. ^ Second Buy for Abaco. The Times, 12 August 1987. pp.19.
  23. ^ Razzall, Tim. Chance Encounters: Tales from a varied life. London: Biteback Publishing. 2014.
  24. ^ a b Hamptons Residential Limited. Director's Report and Accounts 1989. Hamptons Residential Limited, 11 September 1990. Available online at [11]. Accessed 11 December 2017.
  25. ^ Companies House. Administration Order - British and Commonwealth Holdings plc. Companies House, 3 June 1990. Available online at [12]. Accessed 11 December 2017.
  26. ^ Hamptons Residential Limited. Director's Report and Accounts 1990. Hamptons Residential Limited, 28 March 1991. Available online at [13]. Accessed 11 December 2017.
  27. ^ Hamptons Residential Limited. Director's Report and Accounts 1992. Hamptons Residential Limited, 5 March 1993. Available online at [14]. Accessed 28 August 2019.
  28. ^ Hamptons Estates Limited. Annual Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 December 1995. Hamptons Estates Limited, 22 February 1996. Available online at [15]. Accessed 28 August 2019.
  29. ^ Warren, Richard. "Cluttons, Hamptons team up in Hong Kong". South Chine Morning Post, 24 April 1996. Available online at [16]. Accessed 28 April 2017.
  30. ^ Hamptons Estates Limited. Report and Financial Statements - Period From 23 February 1996 to 30 June 1997. Hamptons Estates Limited, 22 February 1996. Available online at [17]. Accessed 28 August 2019.
  31. ^ "Hamptons to join TFAAG: Godalming and Marlborough rooms to adopt Dreweatt Neate branding". Antiques Trade Gazette, 24 January 2005. Available online at [18]. Accessed 19 June 2019.
  32. ^ Bennett, Will (2005). "Market news: The Fine Art Auction Group". The Daily Telegraph, 24 January 2005. Available online at [19]. Accessed 19 June 2019.
  33. ^ "Dreweatt Neate consolidate sales operation". Antiques Trade Gazette, 27 November 2006. Available online at [20]. Accessed 19 June 2019.
  34. ^ a b Clark, Nick. "Countrywide Expands With Acquisition Of Hamptons". The Independent, 17 June 2010. Available online at [21]. Accessed 28 April 2017.
  35. ^ Davidson, Sarah. "Hamptons grows valuation division". Mortgage Introducer, 30 July 2010. Available online at [22]. Accessed 28 April 2017.
  36. ^ "Hamptons International snaps up north London agency". Estate Agent Today, 29 January 2014. Available online at [23]. Accessed 31 July 2017.
  37. ^ Renshaw, Rosalind (2014). "Hamptons makes second acquisition this year". Property Industry Eye, 24 June 2014. Available online at [24]. Accessed 31 July 2017.
  38. ^ "Humberts lettings sold; Chestertons on the market ". Letting Agent Today, 3 July 2014. Available online at [25]. Accessed 31 July 2017.
  39. ^ Renshaw, Rosalind (2015). "Countrywide firm Hamptons hits acquisition trail". Property Industry Eye, 3 March 2015. Available online at [26]. Accessed 31 July 2017.
  40. ^ Renshaw, Rosalind (2015). "Hamptons buys property firm specialising in affordable housing". Property Industry Eye, 10 March 2015. Available online at [27]. Accessed 31 July 2017.
  41. ^ Ivey, Prudence (2015). "West Hampstead estate agency bought by Hamptons International". Ham & High Property, 12 May 2015. Available online at [28]. Accessed 31 July 2017.
  42. ^ "Acquisitions and departures". The Negotiator, 31 March 2016. Available online at [29]. Accessed 31 July 2017.