Search Acumen: Conveyancing volumes on the rise

Michael Lloyd

November 19, 2019

Despite conveyancing volumes falling year-on-year, volumes have picked up from the last quarter as the industry reacts to the market slowdown, Search Acumen has found.

Their Q3 Conveyancing Market Tracker revealed that there have been over 100,000 fewer transactions in the first nine months of 2019 compared to the equivalent period in 2016, representing a 12% decline.

Moreover, transaction volumes between Q1 and Q3 2019 are down nearly 4% compared to the same period in 2018.

However, volumes saw a quarterly rise of nearly 8% between Q2 to Q3.

Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, said: “Every passing quarter of 2019 has brought more political headwinds to the property market due to Brexit related uncertainty.

“100,000 fewer transactions so far this year compared to 2016 is an indicator of the ‘Brexit effect’ on an already cooling property market.

“It’s been a tough three years for the industry, but that said, a tricky market has made it clear how effectively large conveyancing firms are now able to win and retain business.

“But big firms have a physical limit to how much more market share they can gain. There’s only so many conveyancers they can hire to execute so many transactions in a month.

“We’re going to soon reach an inflection point where the top firms can’t grow without wholesale changes to how they do business.”

There was a leap of more than 5,500 transactions, representing more than 10%, for the top 10 biggest conveyancers.

Sommerville added: “To keep growing, bigger firms need to start to think about combining human and digital insights to a greater extent.

“They need to assess how many transactions they can currently process and investigate what they could be doing if they invested in better technology.

“But it’s more than that now – technology investment is the key to getting ahead in a competitive climate.

“The smart firms are gearing up for more business in the coming quarters because as our recent trackers have proved, the days of the small occasional conveyancer are over.

“So regardless of market movements, there will be more opportunity out there for bigger conveyancers – the winners will be able to solve how to most effectively handle more volume without over-burdening their conveyancers.”

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