Conveyancing transactions hit seven-year quarterly high

The 100 most active conveyancing firms across England and Wales collectively registered almost 80,000 completed transactions in the third quarter this year, new figures have revealed.

With the top 100 ranked firms averaging 794 completed transactions each between July and September, research from Search Acumen suggested their collective performance soared to a seven-year high with a combined total of 79,402 transactions – rivalling the 80,307 seen in Q4 2014.

Search Acumen’s findings also showed that the top 20 conveyancing firms recorded the strongest quarterly performance, with activity rising 4% from Q2. This came despite a 4% drop in transactions across the whole market, as activity cooled slightly following the tapering of the stamp duty holiday.

Furthermore, the monthly breakdown of transaction volumes shows the impact of the tapering of the stamp duty holiday. Search Acumen’s data revealed that transaction volumes at the beginning of Q3 in July 2021 totalled 97,738, potentially boosted by some late registrations after the £500,000 cut-off point on 30 June.

Monthly volumes then decreased over the quarter to reach 87,765 by September, as the holiday deadline loomed and the chances of getting a transaction over the line in time to qualify for the discount dwindled.

Search Acumen director, Andy Sommerville, said that while this latest data shows a slight slowdown in the conveyancing market from the heights of the first stamp duty deadline in June, it is important to “keep the bigger picture in mind”.

“The reality is that, for another three months, strong market performance has brought continuing pressures and heightened expectations of conveyancers and real estate lawyers to turn people’s property buying ambitions into reality, often to very demanding schedules,” Sommerville commented.

“The tapering of the stamp duty holiday during Q3, before the final curtain fell in September, meant activity dipped slightly compared to the frenzy seen earlier in the year when bigger savings were up for grabs. However, the conveyancing market has continued to operate at an elevated level, and those firms ranking in the top 100 are juggling close to record levels of business to keep the nation moving.”

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