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Booming sales market creates busiest ever financial year for conveyancers

Conveyancers have had their busiest year on record, industry data shows.

Search Acumen’s latest Conveyancing Market for the first quarter of 2022 showed the boom in property sales has left the average conveyancer firm handing 60% more transactions than a year earlier, and 32% more than in 2019/20.

Completed transactions climbed to 1.26m during the 2021/2022 financial year, an 87% annual increase and a 34% rise on the 2019/20 financial year before the Covid-19 pandemic first took hold

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The average number of transactions per firm weighed in at 311 for the 2021/22 financial year, surpassing the previous record of 252 set in 2015/16 ahead of the introduction of higher stamp duty tax rates for landlords and second homebuyers.

Conveyancers are now completing transactions at a rate of 1.22 each working day, more than double the rate of 0.53 per day a decade ago, according to the software provider’s research.

Search Acumen’s analysis shows that 2021/22 halted a nine-year sequence where the average number of active firms per quarter fell year-on-year.

There were 4,058 active firms during the period, creeping back towards levels last seen in 2018/19 when there were 4,083.

Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, 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.”

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