THE property market may still be depressed but Huntingdonshire estate agents continue to impress national awards judges.

Three of them were winners at the Estate Agency of the Year awards earlier this month - Thomas Morris, Sharman Quinney and Peter Lane - and St Ives-based Maxine Lester Residential Lettings was shortlisted for a lettings agency award.

Thomas Morris emerged as double gold award winners for best training and development in the UK and best medium-sized estate agency in the Central region.

Sharman Quinney aspired to a silver award in the regional awards for best medium agency, matched by Huntingdon-based Peter Lane in the best small agency category.

The Thomas Morris win came hot on the heels of last month's treble award-winning performance at the Home Sale Network conference, which culminated in the presentation of the prestigious Cartus Masters Cup and will see the company's delegates in Florida next April as a reward.

"It really is an amazing feeling to win two gold awards," said partner Simon Bradbury. "The competition was intense, and we were up against some of the best estate agency firms across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland."

The judges' report for the training and development award commented that: "The directors showed that their belief in training is key to the development of the whole company.

"Their insistence on feedback, whether good or bad, is brave and refreshing and demonstrates the outstanding commitment to clients.

"We look forward to seeing what this agency will undertake next in the continuing quest for excellence."

The judges said of Sharman Quinney: "A number of new initiatives have been launched and followed up by simple yet effective customer care. Its commitment to its people is excellent and it enjoys excellent reciprocal loyalty because of this."

Managing Director Mike Sharman said of his company's award: "This is testimony to our success at helping thousands of people move home each year."

The verdict on Peter Lane was that: "With excellent client feedback and some truly outstanding acts of customer service above and beyond the call of duty, they really deserve their silver medal."

Maxine Lester reached the shortlist for the best single-office lettings agency.