Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director at Search Acumen, says: “This latest data highlights the continued remarkable rise of house prices, with February 2022 marking a 10.9% increase compared to February 2021 and a 10.2% uplift from January 2022.
“Today’s figures show that despite the squeeze on household incomes due to inflationary pressures, consumer demand is still strong. The increase in property prices across the UK can be partly explained by the long lasting impact of the pandemic on the way people want to live and work continuing to be felt.
“We might see a waning in demand towards the end of the quarter and into April, following the National Insurance changes and the energy price cap hit. However, the discrepancy between stock and demand may also continue to keep the market buoyant for at least the first half of 2022.
“High prices are a continuation of the record breaking activity in seen in 2021. Our research shows that the final quarter of 2021 was the busiest on record for completed transactions logged with HM Land Registry, with over 100,000 transactions wrapped up in both November and December – an industry first. The average conveyancing firm operated at a frenetic rate to match buyer demand, undertaking 76 transactions on average for the quarter, which is the highest quarterly figure since records began.
“In the mid-term there will be an ongoing need for property professionals to create efficiencies so that they can effectively manage their workloads and keep the property market moving. To achieve this, it is paramount that those involved in the transaction process – from estate agents to conveyancers – are proactively spotting ways to disrupt antiquated ways of working and embrace a digital approach. We are partnering with HM Land Registry on its Digital Showcase in April to demonstrate how a digital approach can transform the due diligence process by enabling lawyers to process administrative tasks much more efficiently and get back to the more rewarding task of advising clients. Only by making digital the default for the property industry, we can forge a sector that is fit for the future.”