Rumours Of Release – What Next?

Multiple sources are now reporting that the residential property sector is recognised by the Government as core to the economic engine of the country and that the Government imposed restrictions will be released subject to social distancing rules next week.

Expectations are high from consumers and some professionals about how quickly home movers might start to transact again and when exchanges and completions will happen.

Many have significant expectations and hope for their conveyancing businesses that Boris will be helpful on Sunday and wave a wand to make this near stationary residential property market move quickly, but is that realistic?

If the property market is released there seem to be two main considerations for conveyancers. Firstly what will happen to the existing pipeline? And secondly what will demand look like after that?

Lots of those planned Easter completions that got trapped are still raring to move. Some clients are getting very pushy and expectations are high. Many people are saying that people who have started transactions are keen to complete them but there will be some drop off due to changes in circumstances and collapsed chains.

A big question is whether the professionals are ready?

Lots of conveyancers are ready and able to work from home and have sufficient staff to do so. Anecdotally other ultra cautious or cash strapped conveyancers have furloughed everyone and are just unable to progress their conveyancing files. Will chains be blocked by conveyancers that are just unable to move forward because too many staff are on furlough and they are unwilling to bring them back before demand has demonstrably picked up?

Leading figures in the lending industry are telling us this isn’t a credit crunch, money is available to lend. This is a service issue for them. Can they process mortgages at sufficient rate?

Removal companies are rightly concerned about PPE and safe working. Whilst many are ready to go and many premises are empty there will be fear and uncertainty about social distancing and safe working for those housing transactions that aren’t in vacant properties.

Many of the large chains of estate agents have furloughed all but their senior managers. Is it too much to hope that they will be available to chase chains and massage transactions to hold them together?

It seems that when the green light is given to progress clients many professionals including conveyancers will have a vested interest in trying to drive speedy completions if only for the cash flow, but for many chains their may be more delays whilst the professionals and the chains sort themselves out and structural tension of too few staff to process work at various points in chains mean that things wont go as smoothly as many hope for. I suspect those conveyancers who are working on files are going to have a stressful few weeks with clients and other professionals emotions and expectations likely to exceed what the sector can realistically deliver in all chains.

Do you have a local conveyancer that gone into hibernation and is holding up conveyancing transactions in your area? Contact us and tell us about it.

Please look out for our next article about what happens after the present pipeline completes.

1 Comment

  • test

    As this article highlights the pandemic has highlighted the flakiness of the chain process. The more parties and advisers there are the more chances of a link failing.

    It needs replacing by a radical alternative

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