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News: Property boom gives estate agents bumper bonus

City bonuses and demand from international buyers drove prices for prime property in London up 24% last year, helping upmarket estate agents Savills to a 44% rise in pre-tax profit last year to £84.4 million.

And a staff bonus scheme will see employees sharing a record payout that could see some employees taking home more than a £1 million, according to speculative newspaper reports.

Savills said profits were "better than expected" and had been driven by a bumper round of City bonuses, which helped boost the average price of a house in central London by 10% to £1.45 million.

A number of multi-million pound house sales in the capital, along with considerable commercial deals including negotiating the £600million sale of iconic London building the Gherkin - have  helped the company deliver its 31% increase in pre-tax profits, up from £57.2million in 2005.

The bonus pool of £125million is up from £90 last year and will be shared among 4,000 employees, although not equally.  The firm warned that as the allocation of bonuses was 'discretionary', some could receive nothing.

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