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Conveyancing volumes drop to two year low

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  • 22/08/2019
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Conveyancing volumes drop to two year low
Conveyancing volumes dropped to 228,994 cases in the second quarter, the first time it has fallen below 230,000 cases in two years.

 

The latest market tracker from Search Acumen noted that cases had dropped by more than 10 per cent on the first quarter of the year.

The firm also noted that cases were down by 20 per cent from the same period in 2016, shortly before the EU referendum.

The growing market share of the large conveyancers was also clear from the study. The top 200 firms now control 39.7 per cent of the market, more than ever before, having steadily increased their share from the 31.9 per cent held in the same quarter in 2011.

Firms in the middle of the market have also seen market share gains. For example, firms ranked between 101st and 200th have seen their market share rise from 10.2 per cent to 11.3 per cent, while those ranked 201st to 500th have seen an increase from 18.4 per cent to 19.1 per cent.

 

Consolidation continuing

The tracker also suggested market consolidation was continuing.

While there was an increase of 75 active firms in the last quarter, taking the total to 4,036, this remains the second lowest tally recorded – down by three per cent on the same period last year, and six per cent on 2016.

Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, said Brexit has clearly “begun to bite”, even before it has truly arrived.

He continued: “This Brexit-fuelled market stasis is exacerbating the consolidation trend that has been underway over the last few years.

“Smaller conveyancing firms who were already struggling to compete are now facing tougher conditions, while those who have been able to gain a larger foothold are now taking a bigger slice of activity than ever before.”

 However, he suggested it was not all doom and gloom, as average monthly transactions were still healthier than in the period before the referendum.

“Conveyancing firms that have established themselves in the strong middle are doing more with less and continuing to thrive in the middle of a challenging market,” he concluded.

 

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