Conveyancers keep fee rises below inflation

Conveyancing: Sharp rise in leasehold conveyancing fees

Average conveyancing fees for house purchases have increased by less than inflation over the past year, with fees for leasehold sales and purchases rising much more quickly, according to new research.

Property Solvers, which facilitates quick property sales, approached 100 conveyancing firms for direct quotes on transactions involving a mortgage being redeemed or used to buy. Property values in the quote request never exceeded £300,000.

It found that average residential conveyancing fees for a freehold tenured property sale and purchase in early 2023 stood at £1,119 and £1,184 respectively, including VAT and excluding disbursements.

This represented increases of 2.6% for sales and 8% for purchases when compared to a similar exercise conducted in early 2022. The quotes received ranged from £684 (for a sale) to £1,920.

Average conveyancing costs for leasehold properties jumped nearly 23% for sales to £1,351 and by 38% for purchases to £1,436, although the highest quotes were for £2,200 and £2,340 respectively.

Remortgaging costs – based on the secured loan of £225,000 – saw an average cost rise of 6% to £643, with lowest quote £299 and the highest £1,200. Researchers said leasehold supplementary costs tended to be between £100 and £250.

Ruban Selvanayagam, co-founder of Property Solvers, said: “Despite inflationary pressures, it would seem that many conveyancing firms have decided not to increase their fees too drastically.”

“However, the increase in leasehold conveyancing fees reflects the extra workload required and the idiosyncratic nature of the work.”

Mr Selvanayagam advised home movers to avoid quotes that were “notably under average, particularly from firms that only have an online presence”.

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