10% Conveyancing Dip Blamed On Brexit

Recent figures show that Brexit is plaguing the conveyancing market, as the UK is experiencing the slowest quarter for two years.

Search Acumen have analysed Land Registry data to track the market. It has been revealed that quarterly conveyancing volumes between April and June dropped below 230,000 cases for the first time in two years.

These 228,994 transactions represented a 10% decrease since the start of the year, when the market appeared to be slowing down.

The latest figure also suggests a 20% fall from the second quarter of 2016, as transaction numbers reached 286,485 before the EU referendum.

Andy Somerville, Director of Search Acumen, said:

“This Brexit-fuelled market stasis is exacerbating the consolidation trend that has been underway over the last few years. Smaller conveyancing firms who were already struggling to compete are now facing tougher conditions, while those who have been able to gain a larger foothold are now taking a bigger slice of activity than ever before.”

The latest figures also show that the top 200 conveyancing firms control two-fifths of the market. Last year, between April and June, 4,144 firms were in business. This year, there are only 3,961.

The most notable gains in market share have taken place at the middle of the market. In the past five years, firms ranked from 201st – 500th have increased their collective share from 18.4% to 19.1%, those ranked 101st – 200th have seen their share rise from 10.2% to 11.3%.

Somerville has added:

“Our latest assessment of conveyancing activity has found that Brexit has truly begun to bite for the sector, even before it has truly arrived. After three years of increasing uncertainty, we’re finally seeing the result of the “wait and see” approach that many homeowners and prospective buyers in England and Wales are taking while Westminster continues to wrangle over the nature of our exit from Europe.”

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