Residential conveyancing at new peak but there are causes for concern
Residential conveyancing firms which managed to weather the recession are enjoying even better levels of business than those experienced during the 2007 peak, according to property search company Search Acumen.
By making an analysis of the most important conveyancing data related to property transactions carried out between 2005 to 2014, the organisation found that in 2014 there were seven firms that completed 6,000+ transactions; this compares to only in 2005.
“The fall and rise of conveyancing in recent years has seen many firms fall by the wayside. Low volumes of transactions in the recession were fuelled by little more than debt, divorce and death,” commented Mark Riddick, chairman of Search Acumen. “It meant conveyancing in the lean years quickly became a story of survival of the fittest.”
However, Riddick’s assertion that those firms “at the top end of the food chain” are the ones now reaping the greatest rewards is likely to cause some concern among consumers and smaller conveyancing solicitors that the market could be becoming less competitive; there are currently fewer conveyancers operating than there were before the recession.
The figures make use of a decade’s worth of Land Registry data and reveal that the number of conveyancing firms operating last year was 24% lower than the 7,733 operating in 2007, a decline of 1,862. Despite this, the number of transactions rose by 28% on the number recorded in 2013.
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