Rob Gurney, Managing Director, Ochresoft
“I have been interested in reviewing the data from a brand new Property Trends Report that Landmark Information Group has just launched. It provides a picture of the residential property market’s pipeline and the launch edition of the report focuses on the entirety of 2020 and compares it to 2019, which we probably all accept was a more typical year.
It shows that prior to Covid-19 the property market was in a healthy position, right up to the point of the first national lockdown in March. The imposed restrictions of course led to a drop in activities across the board, with physical property moves unable to proceed, in addition to the furloughing of many staff across our whole industry.
This created a knock-on effect, since when the market reopened, not only was there a backlog to catch-up on, but the incentive of the Stamp Duty Land Tax and Land Tax Transaction holidays announced by the Chancellor saw new instructions fluctuate significantly.
The high ratio of new instructions versus completions is clear to see in Landmark’s data, but what really strikes me here however is the resilience of the conveyancing industry.
The property law sector was facing a very challenging position in the summer with huge volumes to work coming through, yet with fewer people available to undertake the required work because furloughs were still in place across many law firms and local authorities.
Yet, the legal industry was able to take greater control of the work-in-progress and the data shows that by the end the year, completion rates were in a much stronger position.
We know from the law firms that we work with and talk to on a regular basis that staff numbers certainly didn’t increase in line with the rate of new instructions and cases! Yet, the way they have adapted to remote working, using technology to support the efficient flow of each case where possible, and with much hard work to push through successful completions for homebuyers and sellers, they should be commended.
I for one take my hat off to everyone working behind the scenes to keep the property industry moving along as seamlessly as possible, even in these most unusual times.”
As published by Inside Conveyancing: https://insideconveyancing.co.uk/news/ochresoft-blog-high-praise-for-residential-lawyers/