Goldsmith data bucks trend

Goldsmith Williams figures published last week reveal a 20% increase in completions.

The figures compare one-month periods in Q4 2007 and Q1 2008 and defy expectations of fewer completions due to the liquidity crisis.

Alan Dring, sales and marketing director at Goldsmith Williams, says a reduction in the firm’s business volumes has allowed brokers to focus on quality cases.

He says: “When business was good brokers were sending in all kinds of cases and crossing their fingers. Now they are able to take the time to submit high quality cases and as a result have increased our completions by 20%.

“It seems that having more time to devote to cases is the silver lining in the cloudy days the industry has seen recently.”

But Dominic Toller, director of marketing and new business at rival LMS Conveyancing, says there could be a number of reasons for the rise.

He says: “We are seeing an increase in remortgages.

“They generally complete more easily than purchases, leading to higher conversion ratios.”

Toller attributes a significant drop in deal cancellations at LMS to brokers seeking the faster conversion times associated with remortgage deals.

He adds: “An optimist might say that the drop is due to the rollout of Home Information Packs, which provide search data and reduce the time it takes to complete and the likelihood of gazumping.”

But he agrees with Dring that a quieter market means lenders, surveyors, conveyancers and brokers have more time to devote to cases, which means they complete faster and are less likely to fall through.