Hunters, the York-based estate agency has won a coveted home sales award at the largest gathering of estate agents in the UK.

The firm received the Rising Star Referral and Customer Referral Awards at the annual Home Sale Network conference in Blackpool from British Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell and BBC commentator John Inverdale.

The awards are made to the best performing Home Sale Network member. Hunters relocated 72 people out of North Yorkshire - more than any other of the other 650 branches in the scheme which was established in the UK by Cendant Relocation in 1993. The prize was two plane tickets to the international Cendant conference in Phoenix Arizona next March.

Last year the conference declared Hunters to be "the best independent estate agent in the UK".

Kevin Hollinrake, director of Hunters, who declared himself delighted, said: "We provide a wide ranging service within the region and through our membership of the Home Sale Network can support customers relocating to other parts of Britain as well."

Hunters, which has offices in York, Acomb, Easingwold, Haxby and Harrogate as well as in Wetherby and Leeds, was started as an independent in 1992 and now claims to be one of the region's largest property services companies, encompassing residential, commercial and business sales, lettings, financial services and survey and valuation divisions.

Hunters is one of three finalists in the Progress Through People category of the Evening Press Business Awards, the outcome of which will be announced at the awards ceremony at The Merchant Adventurers Hall, York, on Thursday.