TRANSACTION volumes topped nearly 1.5m in 2021 and strong demand has continued to drive a buoyant market in 2022 with 908,509 residential transactions up to the end of August 2022 compared to 724,088 in the same period in the previous year reports TodaysConveyancer
A conveyancing market report from IRN Legal Reports also indicated that the market value of the residential conveyancing market increased by almost 14% in 2021.
In 2023, IRN Legal Reports is forecasting growth in housing transactions of 5% with market value increasing by just under 4%. Given the market uncertainties, with higher interest rates and continued concerns over the cost of living, we will start to see an impact on the market in 2023 and the growth in property transactions will slow down considerably. There is likely to be some smaller operators leaving the sector with consolidation increasing.
My Home Move continues to be the largest conveyancer by volume, with twice as many transactions as its closest competitor O’Neill Patient Solicitors. Their share of the market sits at just over 2%, with the wider Simplify Group accounting for just over 4% of transactions.
The remaining “top five” brands are Taylor Rose MW, Countrywide Property Lawyers, and Setfords, highlighting the huge growth in the consultancy model particularly in conveyancing.
A separate report released in the last few weeks revealed that alternative law firms/consultancy model firms are growing at a faster pace than traditional models. If the adoption continues at its current rate up to a quarter of lawyers could work within a consultancy model in the next three years.
Market conditions continue to be volatile. Knight Frank’s latest predictions suggest house prices could fall by upto 10% in the next 2 years, before a shallower rise to an overall increase of 1.5% over the next 5 years. Banks are starting to show signs of bringing more mortgage products back to the market, after the recent near 50% fall in available products according to Twenty7tec. The stamp duty cut may yet prompt a wave of stock to come to market as the Christmas rush starts.
It is often said that uncertainty is never good for the property market but anecdotally this publication is told that conveyancing instructions remain strong in the short term.