Year gets off to a flyer at Bairstow Eves

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The Independent Online

Countrywide, the owner of a host of high street estate agents including Bairstow Eves, offered hopeful signs for the housing market yesterday as underlying earnings more than trebled to £4.5m between January and March – the company's strongest beginning to a year since before the credit crunch struck in 2007.

However, it warned of short-term blips ahead due to the Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and Euro 2012.

Grenville Turner, its chief executive, also predicted a stagnant mortgage-lending market.