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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agency chain complains of conveyancer shortage delaying transactions

Haart says a shortage of conveyancers and lawyers is leading to delays in transactions, made worse by the high volume of buy to let apartments and houses being purchased ahead of the April 1 stamp duty surcharge deadline.

In its latest market analysis, dominated by investment purchases by anxious landlords, Haart says: “We’re now seeing a shortage of conveyancers and lawyers to progress these sales, leading to delays and a subsequent decline in the number of completions in January.”

Last week we reported that the Property Codes Compliance Board, the regulator for the Search Code of Practice, accused some councils of “performing woefully” and its chairman, Kate Davies, said that: “If you live in Wiltshire for example, it is an accident of geography if a lawyer can expect to receive searches back in six days or six weeks, and this is totally unacceptable”.

Maud Rousseau of SearchFlow has echoed the criticism, saying the variation in service levels from local authorities was simply “unacceptable.”

The Haart data shows that demand from first-time buyers sky-rocketed 26 per cent last month compared to a year ago which, with the rise in investment purchasers, has highlighted the conveyancing issues.

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