Now an international juggernaut, Knight Frank boasts more than a century’s history selling rural property — and Hopkins, a steadfast country hand, has seen over a quarter of it from the inside. Hailed as ‘terrific’ and ‘seriously good’ by industry experts, he heads up the farms and estates sales division, a specialist team of nine within the firm’s 30-strong London office.
The land market had ‘flattened out significantly’ when Spear’s last caught up him in early 2016, thanks to the cooling measures brought in by George Osborne in 2015. But the present is harder to decipher — and the reasons for that even more so.
‘One of the amazing things in the market at the moment is that for the first time in my 30-year career, there are no trends,’ he says. ‘You can’t say the market is rising here by X per cent, or that land prices are doing this or that. They will do one thing in one area and another thing in another area. There’s no trend either to type or nationality of purchaser, or what the market is doing — it’s extraordinary.’
Clients are certainly keen on the perspicacious and honest Hopkins. ‘We are both hugely grateful for your unswervingly affable professionalism and guidance through proceedings,’ says one. ‘The fact that the transaction was so quick and straightforward was indeed a particular bonus, especially when set in the context of recent developments in the market.’