A WORCESTER estate agency is waving goodbye to the high street and moving to modern purpose-built offices on the edge of the city with easier parking.

Halls (Midlands) LLP, which also provides rural and commercial property services, is relocating its head office from Foregate Street in Worcester city centre to grade A accommodation at Kings Court next door to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, with ample parking and easy access to the national motorway network.

Managing partner Duncan Bedhall said: "We believe house buyers deserve a comfortable environment in privacy to discuss face-to-face with experts probably the most significant investment decision most of us will ever make. Historically, agents have offered a rather rushed and unwelcoming encounter in a goldfish bowl on the high street. But the way people find their ideal home has changed and we have to move with the times.”

Four in five UK house hunters start their search online, clocking up more than 16 million user sessions a month on the top four online property portals alone. Yet 99 per cent of all the roughly one million UK property sales per annum are still completed using an estate agent according to internet site Zoopla.

Mr Bedhall added: "Buyers rightly demand the power of online search and the lower costs, improved efficiency and speedier communication the internet offers. But they also still clearly want the benefits of a traditional agent, such as in-depth local market knowledge, accurate valuations, a known pool of potential buyers, managed viewings, price negotiation expertise, chasing through an agreed sale and the opportunity to walk in and speak face to face with their agent. We’re simply looking to provide that in a modern comfortable and convenient setting that avoids city centre traffic and the scramble for parking.”

Halls has signed a 10-year lease, has begun fit-out and plans to move on 20 September. In addition to the move, Halls will soon roll out a new brand and website.