DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "UK Conveyancing Market 2019: Market Trends Report" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
The UK Conveyancing Market Trends Report 2019 provides an overview of the UK conveyancing market which is facing a period of uncertainty in the next few years.
In 2018 as in 2017, the author estimates that the residential conveyancing market declined as the number of property transactions and the number of individuals using conveyancing services fell back compared with 2017. Price pressures, i.e. more fixed fee options, have also been impacting on market value growth. In 2018, the UK residential conveyancing market decreased in value by 2.8% in 2017.
The number of residential property transactions also decreased in 2018 by 2.4% compared to 2017 and this followed a decrease of over 1% in 2017. Provisional figures for the first half of 2019 point to an even larger decrease in 2019. Residential property transactions decreased by 6.6% in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in the previous year. A possible solution to the Brexit confusion in Autumn could help to improve prospects in the latter part of 2019.
In the survey of conveyancers undertaken by the author in April/May 2019, 55% stated that they had seen increased work volumes in the last 12 months (a decrease from 66% in the previous year). A majority also recorded increased revenues from conveyancing but this percentage has fallen to 53% from 60% in 2018.
Looking forward to the next 12 months, just 55% are positive and are anticipating increased work volumes, but this is down from 62% in 2018 and 2017.
The market is dominated by local law firms, but a recent trend has been the emergence of more national conveyancers capitalising on what is becoming a commoditised market. However, despite handling over 20,000 transactions each year, the largest conveyancing firm in England and Wales still only accounts for just over 2% of the transaction numbers. The two largest conveyancers are now in the hands of private equity firms.
Between 2015 and 2018, the key changes to the residential housing market impacting on conveyancing have been: a shift from house purchase towards remortgaging (mainly because fewer current homeowners are moving and hence putting their properties on the market); the growing importance of first-time buyers for home purchases; and the decline in importance of buy-to-let purchasers.
The author estimates the number of property transactions will rise by almost 6% from 2018 to 2022. The value of the conveyancing market will grow at a lower rate over the same period as prices will continue to be under pressure.
Key Topics Covered
1. Executive Summary
- Market Structure
- Market Developments and Drivers
- Market Size and Forecasts
- Practitioner Survey
- Two property transfer systems
3. Market Structure
- An estimated 7,000 active practices
- More M&A activity as the market consolidates - but slowly
4. Market Developments and Drivers
- Property transactions ups and downs
- Residential transactions account for 90% of all property transactions
- England dominates
- The mortgage market reflects the changing dynamics in the residential sector
- Concerns over openness about costs from conveyancing services
- Rules on handling client money streamlined for CLC firms
- Price transparency arrives for residential conveyancing
- Mortgage market working OK but Law Society wants a review of lender panels
- Leasehold reform and concerns over some developer/solicitor links
- New guidance on referral fees received by estate agents
- New edition of the Law Society Conveyancing Protocol
- Blockchain - trials gather pace but widespread adoption still some way off
- New direct-to-consumer conveyancing service with guaranteed exchange times
5. The Key Players
- Market Shares - England and Wales
- Profile of major firms - England and Wales
- O'Neill Patient Solicitors LLP/Grindeys Solicitors Ltd
- Countrywide Property Lawyers Ltd
- Birchall Blackburn Law
- Beaumont Legal
- Shoosmiths LLP
- Property Legal Services
- Major Scottish Conveyancers
- Conveyancing Direct Solicitors
- HBC Conveyancing
- McVey & Murricane
- Your Conveyancer
6. Market Size, Trends & Forecasts
- The current market
- Another market value decline in 2018
- The market is forecast to show modest growth unless the Boris effect kicks in
7. Conveyancing Practitioners Survey Results
- Survey results
- Percentage of conveyancers experiencing volume growth lowest since the survey began
- The same picture for revenue growth in the latest year
- Confidence about future growth has weakened
8. Associations, Regulators & Quality Schemes
List of Figures
Figure 1 The number of law firms and solicitors in the conveyancing market, July 2019
Figure 2 Annual property transactions completed in the UK (over 40,000), 2008 - 2018
Figure 3 The breakdown (%) in the number of residential property transactions over 40,000
Figure 4 Mortgage gross advances (bn), 2010 Q1 to 2019 Q1
Figure 5 Mortgage gross advances (m), 2010 Q1 to 2019 Q1
Figure 6 Breakdown of mortgage gross advances by the purpose of loan (bn), 2010 Q1 to 2019 Q1
Figure 7 Leading Land Registry value transaction* account customers in England and Wales, 2015 - 2018
Figure 8 The largest Land Registry value transaction* account customers in England and Wales, 2018
Figure 9 The largest Land Registry value transaction* account customers in England and Wales, January 2019
Figure 10 UK residential conveyancing market value (bn), 2012 - 2018
Figure 11 UK residential conveyancing market value forecasts (bn), 2018 - 2022
Figure 12 Work volume of residential conveyancing practice in the last 12 months (%), 2016-2019
Figure 13 Revenue of residential conveyancing practice in the last 12 months (%), 2016-2019
Figure 14 Expectations of conveyancing workload over the next 12 months (%)
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