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Conveyancing activity nosedived in Q4

The conveyancing industry suffered a very sluggish final quarter of the 2019, as quarterly transactions dropped to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2017.

There were 226,44 transactions in Q4 2019, 8% fewer year-on-year, amidst the political uncertainty that gripped the nation.

The top 200 conveyancing firms recorded a 13% drop in activity.

Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, said: “The curtain call for 2019 couldn’t come soon enough for a conveyancing market which was rocked by political peaks and troughs, prompting several indicators to annual or even record lows in Q4.

“What has come as a surprise is the comeback of smaller conveyancers which gives us hope that the market is not broken from top to bottom, but remains in need of transformation.

“Despite the market slowdown, property buyers and investors have not made a flight to the top but instead continue to work with smaller conveyancers who bring local, well-honed expertise to the table.

“Given the improved political climate at the very end of 2019, the next challenge for firms will be to ride the likely surge in demand as the backlog of transactions that were put on hold start to be unleashed as consumer and business confidence returns.”