The Real Cost of Conveyancing in 2015

Recent studies demonstrating the cost of conveyancing over the last decade may suggest a greater cost in terms of risk for those in the field during 2015.

A study conducted in 2014 by the Post Office Money and the Centre for Economics and Business Research outlined the difference in moving costs between 2004 and 2014.

In the study, the areas of the residential property industry compared included: the costs of stamp duty, estate agents, surveyor, conveyancers and removals. Overall, the figures established a 58% increase in the costs over the decade. However, for conveyancers, the figures are not so positive.

Standard inflation for the time period showed a 40.63% increase. For conveyancing, however, only a 37% increase was recognised. This would imply that conveyancing solicitors are earning less than ten years ago, whilst simultaneously working at a higher risk.

A prominent risk for conveyancing solicitors is the potential for negligent claims. Recently, there have been several high profile instances regarding conveyancer negligence. One such example was the case against solicitors firm Bird & Bird, as previously reported by Today’s Conveyancer.

There has been substantial re-growth for the conveyancing sector this year following the economic crash in 2008. Consequently, the positive boost in current numbers for the industry could also spark an upsurge in the amount of negligent claims amidst a flurry to keep up with demand.

Mark Carver, Professional Indemnity Specialist at Chancery Pii, has noted this potential risk, stating that when compared with different areas of the house moving sector, conveyancing solicitors appear to have drawn the short straw. Statistics from the Office for National Statistics House Price Index show that between 2004 and 2014, conveyancers’ exposure to risk has increased by 39.12% nationwide.

Carver also draws attention to the comparison between conveyancers and estate agents, the latter of which saw a 61% increase in moving costs for their sector over the past decade. It would appear that those working as estate agents are therefore making more money and experiencing less risk than a decade ago, whereas conveyancers are generally experiencing the opposite.

In order to combat the rising risk to conveyancers nationwide, conveyancing firms, particularly those in London, are advised to possess A+ rated specialist cover.

Does your experience of conveyancing match the research in the above studies? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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