Conveyancing volumes drop 5% in Q3: Search Acumen

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Quarterly conveyancing activity fell by 5 per cent between Q2 and Q3 due to fallout from the EU referendum, according to Search Acumen.

The conveyancing search provider says the result of the Brexit vote hit consumer confidence, resulting in conveyancing volumes falling from 286,485 in Q2 to 271,197 in Q3.

However, Q3 volumes dropped only 1 per cent year-on-year, according to Search Acumen’s latest Conveyancing Market Tracker report.

Following the initial shock felt in July and August as transaction volumes saw year-on-year drops of 10 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, September saw an increase of 10 per cent.

The number of completed transactions in September was 97,623, a 10 per cent increase on September 2015.

The Search Acumen report shows that the 1,000 largest conveyancing firms saw their market share almost unchanged in the third quarter of 2016, rising from 72 per cent in Q2 to 73 per cent at the end of September.

However, the top five firms saw a 9 per cent fall in transaction volumes between Q2 and Q3.

Search Acumen chairman Mark Riddick says: “Our tracker for Q3 reveals that the industry has been broadly resilient, despite an initial dampening in activity following the Brexit vote.

“Buyers and sellers hesitated to make their move back in July, but the transaction volumes we are now seeing show a clear bounce back in activity, and suggest a more positive path towards the end of the year.”

Riddick adds that conveyancers should still be wary of the future despite the relatively small drop in volumes after the Brexit vote.

He says: “Despite a short term bounce, however, conveyancers should be wary of what could be lurking around the corner. Lower interest rates have helped steady the ship but there is much more that needs to be done to get the market moving.”

This help includes better support for first-time buyers and building more houses, he says.