Professionals 2019 Hot Topic Predictions for Conveyancing
2019 is underway and is set to be a very busy year due to the uncertainties surrounding Brexit and the impact it will have on the industry as a whole. But what will be the main topics of conversations this year?
As price transparency has firmly embedded itself in the legal sector, the way consumers and conveyancers will operate is going to change in the future. Last month, Today’s Conveyancer looked at the changing property and conveyancing sector in a post-Brexit Britain.
Industry professionals gave their views on what they think will be the key topics this coming year in the industry and what challenges and/or opportunities we might face in the market.
Harvey Harding, managing director of PM Property Lawyers said:
“In the coming 12 months, there are going to be several changes both in the social/political/economic environment in which we all operate and, in the tech, available in the market place. I do foresee changes indeed.
“What do I think this will look like? Well, the ‘B’ word is still, unfortunately, looming large and whatever the outcome, it should put an end to some of the uncertainty which people believe is affecting the market. Whether in, out or some fudge or other it could lead to one of several things from a recession (as some economists believe) to no effect at all. Short term, there is likely to be some downward effect, which means that we are all going to have less work to share between us – putting customer service and tech to the fore in terms of who a customer is going to choose. Long term – who knows, a snap election, a new Prime Minister. I am confident that the world won’t end, and that people will still need to move to a new house.
“Housing supply remains an issue and with the advent of MMC housing, one would hope that some of the shortfalls of supply can be dealt with AND if we hold onto a Housing Minister for long enough we could see greater growth in the housing sector (see para above for the counter-argument) – and long overdue reform in the leasehold sector. The MHCLG has a large part to play here in terms of delivery and change – including their involvement in reservation agreements.
“As to reservation agreements, there is what seems to be a mixed appetite in the industry, with a few entrepreneurs developing their own propositions, but the MHCLG prefer a standardised document. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next 12 months and whether the same is adopted. I suspect this will still be a matter for discussion following those 12 months.
“HIPS, or their replacements, may well surface again with upfront provision of information and property logbooks – I expect this to grow as an area of offering to customers over the next 12 months.
“Tech is certainly set to become more ‘mainstream’ within conveyancing, with use of apps, web portals, e-signatures becoming more commonplace over the next 12 months and those who don’t have the offerings being left behind.
“Lenders will also look for the above, cyber awareness and simplified customer interfaces as to who they choose also.
“It’s going to be an interesting 12 months!”
Paul Sams, partner at Dutton Gregory further adds. He said:
“This is a year of opportunity. We will have challenges in the market place through uncertainty but those who choose to sit on their laurels and blame the “b word” will simply fail as they should for failing to adapt. We have never had such an influx of good technology into our lives to make them more straightforward.
“My firm has chosen to capitalise on that for our same day conveyancing service. Others will find other issues to cease upon. We need to talk the market up not down otherwise it will go down. I don’t think first-time buyers have ever had it so good. Help to Buy, an extended Armed Forces Help to Buy, Help to Buy ISA and Lifetime Isa’s all give advantages to first time buyers should they choose them. The fact that the number of first-time buyers to the market has increased should be celebrated. The fact that equity release mortgages allow the older population to release funds to fund their later lives should be celebrated. We as conveyancers should be leading the cheering rather than hiding away.”
As a Conveyancer, what predictions would you make for this year?