A County Durham estate agent has recorded its best ever year of selling, beating its nearest competitor by nearly 100.

Venture Properties’ Darlington branch sold more houses than any other estate agent covering the town and surrounding areas in 2021, with 458 sales over the course of the year.

Staff at the firm attribute the figures to both the team in the Darlington office and the effects of Covid on the housing market.

Director Carl Jenkinson said: “A great deal of credit for our success in 2021 has to be given to our staff. We’re a real team here at Venture and everyone has really gone above and beyond to achieve what we have last year.

“Due to the staff and the excellent customer service they offer, we build strong relationships with clients and because of this we get a lot of recommendations and return business, which is why we continue to grow.”

Business at the agency has boomed across both sales and lettings, as homeowners took advantage of initiatives such as the stamp duty holiday, and also required different things from a property as they worked from home.

Carl added: “The market has been fairly static since the crash of 2008 but post-Covid, prices have rocketed, mainly due to an imbalance in supply and demand.

“Stock levels in the area have reduced dramatically, however the demand is still strong and therefore prices have increased, which is great news for those people looking to sell.

“In rental properties, stock levels remain low because tenants who are already in properties are staying put for the time being to see if prices level out or even go back down. While is welcome news for landlords, it has made it really difficult for those currently on the look-out for a rental property as everything that comes on the market, even at the higher prices, is getting snapped up straight away.”

Thanks to increased business, Venture also opened a new office in Crook at the end of last year, moving to a larger site to accommodate its growing team.

Carl added: “It’s been a year of growth all round for Venture: in Darlington, we recruited two new sales consultants and a sales progressor, as well as three new property managers in Darlington and Crook – all to continue to give our clients the service they expect.

“We will always try and go that extra mile and I think people appreciate that. If we weren’t the best at what we do, we wouldn’t be in the position we are, it’s as simple as that.

“The figures really do speak for themselves.”