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Conveyancing volumes increased by 105% in Q3

Jake Carter

November 19, 2020

mortgage search uptick

Conveyancing volumes increased by 105% in Q3 to reach 169,143 registered transactions according to data collected by Search Acumen.

The number of registered transactions is up from 82,385 in the previous quarter.

In addition, the number of active firms rose by 56% in Q3 2020.

The quantity of active firms in the third quarter of 2020 rose to 3,751, up from 2,411 in Q2 2020.

Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, said: “These third-quarter figures demonstrate a recovery from the full force of the pandemic’s impact in Q2, but it is no time for the market to drop its defences quite yet.

“While the government’s stamp duty holiday is helping to propel activity into Q4, it has not relieved conveyancers of the pressures they faced in Q2 but has instead presented a different set of challenges for them to navigate.”

First registrations saw the greatest rise, of any transaction type over Q3, increasing to 993 from 100 in Q2.

Looking to transaction volumes for the average firm, the total figure rose by 32% to 45, up from 34 in Q2.

Furthermore, the top 1,000 firms saw average business levels double on a quarterly basis from 64 to 128.

However, this figure is at the second lowest level seen since Q1 2013.

Sommerville added: “After clearing the initial backlog of transactions, raising the stamp duty threshold has swamped public bodies with search requests, and meant that organisations including HM Land Registry and local authorities have struggled to keep up.

“Further, an overreliance on outdated processes has meant that age-old search delays are rearing their ugly head – slowing down the transaction process and threatening to hamper the benefits of the stamp duty scheme.

“To capitalise on the property tax incentive ahead of the deadline next Spring, transactions must progress as soon as possible as delays rumble on.

“It is time the government acted decisively by tackling recurring delays in the property market through proper investment and an acceleration of its digitisation programme.”


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