Recovery in 2021 as housing transactions set to reach 1.5m but still uncertainties ahead
06 Oct 2021
The Conveyancing Market Trends Report 2021 states that the market is recovering after COVID-19 restrictions but there are still questions about the health of the market going forward. Key findings:
- The pandemic hit the conveyancing market hard in the first half of 2020 but residential property transaction volumes began to grow again in the second half of the year. The overall result was a decrease of 11.2% in UK residential property transactions in the year to 1,045,080.
- The housing transaction data for the eight months up to August 2021 shows a healthy recovery in transactions compared to the same period in 2020. The numbers suggest that housing transactions will be around 1.5 million in 2021, an increase of over 42% on the disastrous year in 2020.
- However, consumer confidence has been hit in the second half of 2021 by worries over potential high price rises, unemployment, and the impact of inflation on household finances. So in 2022, IRN Research is forecasting a modest growth in the conveyancing sector.
- The market value of the residential conveyancing market also took a hit in 2020, declining by 7%.
- Consolidation has continued in the sector in the last year led by the largest player in the market: Simplify which owns the largest brand My Home Move increased its portfolio of brands in 2020/21 with two further acquisitions to add to previous purchases. My Home Move processed around twice as many transactions in 2020 as the second single largest player – O’Neill Patient Solicitors. Another leading firm Taylor Rose MW added another purchase in the year while Countrywide Property Lawyers, the third largest conveyancer, was acquired by Connells Ltd which in turn is part of Skipton Building Society.
- IRN Research’s Practitioner Survey is now in its sixth year and obtained feedback from 68 conveyancers in 2021. The survey was undertaken in July 2021. A clear majority in this year’s survey reported growth in their conveyancing practices, reflecting improvements in demand as restrictions were lifted. Also, the percentage that are positive about the next 12 months has increased significantly compared to 2020.
- The UK Conveyancing Market Report 2021 is available directly from IRN Research, priced at £200. Report content details and online orders at www.irn-research.com/market-research-reports/