Conveyancing industry slumps in final quarter of 2019

Transactions during the conveyancing industry’s fourth quarter dropped to 226,444, the lowest recorded level of 2019, new data published by Search Acumen revealed.

Search Acumen, the property data insight and technology provider, issued the latest edition of its Conveyancing Market Tracker, and the most recent quarterly transaction marked an 8% decline on the previous quarter’s figure (246,816), as well as a 15% drop compared to the same period in 2018 (267,438).

Search Acumen suggested the industry’s data could largely be attributed to ‘political indecision’ and the ‘moveable feast’ that was the Brexit deadlines during the final quarter of the year.

The data provider suggested these negatively impacted both homebuyers and property investors by ‘dampening their appetite’ as well as delaying purchasing decisions – before the uncertainty lifted after December’s General Election result.

Search Acumen director, Andrew Sommerville, commented: “The curtain call for 2019 couldn’t come soon enough for a conveyancing market which was rocked by political peaks and troughs, prompting several indicators to annual or even record lows in the fourth quarter.

“What has come as a surprise is the comeback of smaller conveyancers which gives us hope that the market is not broken from top to bottom but remains in need of transformation.

“Despite the market slowdown, property buyers and investors have not made a flight to the top but instead continue to work with smaller conveyancers who bring local, well-honed expertise to the table.

“Given the improved political climate at the very end of 2019, the next challenge for firms will be to ride the likely surge in demand as the backlog of transactions that were put on hold start to be unleashed as consumer and business confidence returns.”

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