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‘Record-breaking’ year for conveyancers

By Monidipa Fouzder >>

(8 June 2022)

Conveyancers completed a record 1.26 million transactions during the 2021/22 financial year, according to latest analysis of Land Registry data – confirming the pressure that solicitors have been working under as the housing market recovered from Covid.

The latest findings of search provider Search Acumen’s market tracker show that the housing market has bounced back since property transactions almost ground to a halt due to lockdown and social distancing restrictions in 2020.

A few weeks after the country went into lockdown, the government announced plans to safely reboot the housing market. Stamp duty and land transaction concessions fuelled a surge in demand, with conveyancers working late into the night to meet deadlines.

Search Acumen’s tracker states that Land Registry processed 1.26m completed transactions during the 2021/22 financial year – a significant rise from the 675,377 recorded the previous year.

More firms returned to the market – 4,058 ‘active’ firms in 2021/22, up from 3,483 the previous year. Caseloads have also risen, with the average firm completing more than one transaction a day, compared to a rate of 0.53 per day a decade ago.

Search Acumen director Andy Sommerville said: ‘The conveyancing market has been turning the wheels at breakneck speed for over a year now, with a meteoric rise in transaction activity over the last financial year following the initial pandemic lull. Expanding caseloads have reversed the downwards trend of active conveyancing firms, but despite rising participation, average workloads are still stacking up.

‘Our analysis suggests firms of all sizes have had to shoulder the burden of record-breaking activity. With legal professionals working at breakneck speeds, we expect the most digitally-enabled firms will be best placed to manage client needs effectively and keep workplace pressures in check.’

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)