Douglas Scott has seen a 200% increase in demand for conveyancers, as the UK property market booms again.
The leading legal recruitment consultancy is reporting a rise all over the UK, with roles increasing by 200% in the company’s London office over the last six months.
Figures from the Nationwide Building Society showed annual UK house price inflation at a seven-year high of 10.9% this month, and this house price rise from demand has led to a need for property lawyers. While the boom is most apparent in London – where 1 in every 15 homes now sells for over £1million – the demand is not just concentrated in the South East. with the opportunities increasing by 150% in the company’s Yorkshire and North East office, and 100% in the West and West Midlands offices.
“The team is hugely busy with property roles, working on opportunities across private practice as well as with the larger conveyancing specialists,” says Jon Nolan, director at Douglas Scott. “We’ve seen a massive rise in the need for property lawyers across residential, commercial and agricultural property disciplines.”
The boom has also had an impact on the company’s locum division: as residential property sales are turning around so quickly, spikes in caseloads and holiday covers means there has been a rise in this department, meaning extra staff at the recruitment consultancy are supporting the locum desk.
This is quite a turnaround from just a year ago, when the company’s 2014 Salary and Benefits Benchmarker saw that the top reason for residential conveyancers leaving their last job was redundancy – 30% of property lawyers cited this reason for leaving their last roles, compared to 17% across all legal disciplines.
“Salaries crashed along with the market and property lawyers had it tough, but we predicted that this would change,” says Jon. “From few roles and even fewer opportunities to climb the career ladder in property law, we are now placing every conveyancer we speak to – and securing salary increases.”