By Legal Futures Associate Access Legal
The conveyancing market in England and Wales has experienced a number of ups and downs over the last two years.
From the imposition of the first lockdown and complete halt on conveyancing activity, to the first stamp duty holiday with an enormous surge in business bringing record profits for firms and the Exchequer. With further Stamp Duty reforms, rising inflation and interest rates and an uncertain mortgage market, further changes are afoot.
All this change has presented challenges and opportunities for conveyancers. In this insight report, we’ve used Land Registry data to analyse the effects of the pandemic on residential house transactions, the macro market environment and conveyancing firms’ performance throughout 2020 and 2021.
Throughout the report, industry experts provide context to the data and give their thoughts on what this might mean for conveyancers both now and in the future, raising key topics for conveyancers to consider in the months and years ahead.
- The market is the strongest it’s been on over a decade, with 2021 residential purchase cases exceeding 1 million for the first time since 2007.
- This increased demand saw new market entrants as 2021 saw an increase in the number of conveyancing firms, year on year, for first time in nearly a decade.
- Smaller firms face a battle to win new business with the top 50 firms responsible for more than 21% of all residential purchases.
- Even with SDLT holidays, Stamp Duty Land Tax receipts in the UK nearly hit a record high last year.
- On average, transaction volumes across every region increased by over 26% from 2020 to 2021 showing a strong national conveyancing market.
- Many firms may be struggling to keep up with the increased demand as 2021 AP1 post-completion time increased, on average, by over 21% compared to 2020.