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Conveyancing transactions break post-recession record

  • 18/08/2015
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Activity in the conveyancing sector broke post-recession records between April and June as total transactions reached their highest point for any second quarter since 2011.

According to the latest conveyancing market tracker by Search Acumen, second quarter activity was up by 73% against Q2 2011, when the market hit a low following the recession.

Total transactions reached 230, 430 in Q2 2015, up from 219,63 on the same period last year.

Conveyancing firms also enjoyed an eight per cent year-on-year increase in business in the second quarter. The top five firms in the sector saw volumes grow at a rate of 10%, handling 220 more transactions on average than a year earlier.

While the top five conveyancing firms were found to have seen the greatest growth in the last year, companies ranking from 51 to 100 in the index recorded the most significant uplift since 2011, as transaction volumes increased by 114%.

Transactions were still down 0.3% by the end of the first half of the year against H1 2014, due to a slowdown in the first quarter, but Search Acumen said a strong performance in quarter two had helped the market to recover.

Dealing applications, which include the transfer of titles, charges and notices, continued to make up the bulk of activity in Q2, with transactions totalling 201,522, 4% more than the same time last year.

Mark Riddick, chairman of Search Acumen, said: “Quarterly growth trends haven’t wowed the crowds so far this year, but after the disruption caused by changing mortgage regulations and the general election, conveyancing activity is back within touching distance of the levels seen in the first half of 2014.

“Mark Carney’s latest hints of a possible interest rate rise may bring another boost to transactions as buyers look to expedite property purchases. There is still resounding evidence of pent-up demand: the National Association of Estate Agents suggests there are now ten buyers for every house on the UK market, so housing activity won’t stand still for long.”

Riddick added that significant growth among the top conveyancers should sound alarm bells for competitors.

“Having the resources to chase more business is only part of the recipe for success. Unless conveyancers have the processes to make best use of their assets and cope with an influx of customers, they will struggle to make the most of opportunities for growth. Those firms who are lagging at the midway point of 2015 and have ambitions to do better will need to think hard about why, and how to turn things round.”

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