Conveyancing market bounces back in Q3

Michael Lloyd

November 20, 2017

Conveyancing activity bounced back in the third quarter after a significant drop in the second, Search Acumen’s Conveyancing Market Tracker has found.

The number of challenger firms in the market – completing between 100 and 500 transactions per month – grew 54% from Q2 to Q3.

However the top five firms saw a smaller growth in case volumes.

Andrew Lloyd, managing director of Search Acumen, said: “After the noticeable dip in conveyancing activity in Q2, it’s encouraging to see an uptick in business through the late summer and autumn period.

“The conveyancing industry has broadly rebounded to ‘business as usual’, picking up where it left off at the beginning of the year.

“This recovery is testament to the resilience of our industry and the productivity push conveyancers are giving to ensure the cases are processed efficiently.”

Lloyd added: “As activity has picked up, so has the number of firms in operation and the average firm has enjoyed its busiest period for a year.

“It is interesting to see the strong growth of challenger firms. A healthy conveyancing sector relies on competition.”

There was a rise in the number of active firms in the market, increasing by 1.2% to 4,191 from 4,143 in Q2.

The average firm processed 61 transactions in Q3, a quarterly increase of 19%.

Activity levels among the top five ranking firms each month increased 16% over Q3 2017 as a whole, but this was the smallest quarterly increase across the market.

In contrast, firms ranked between 21st and 50th saw the largest increase in average transactions, rising from 501 across the quarter to 635 (27%).

Lloyd said: “Despite these positive strides, sadly ‘business as usual’ means conducting conveyancing business in the midst of the greatest housing crisis our country has known in modern times.

“All eyes are fixed on Phillip Hammond to deliver the antidote against the most challenging economic backdrop we have seen since the recession.

“This week’s Budget is unlikely to provide the silver bullet, but now is the time to grab the issue by the collar and find ways to start building in greater volumes sooner rather than later.”

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