“Transactions are naturally down from the incredible heights we saw in 2021, and we have seen a month-on-month decline with volumes tracking below pre-pandemic figures.
“Volumes are coming down, not least because there isn’t the stock available to sustain them. Similarly, we are continuing to see delays in the transaction process due to inefficiencies and conveyancing backlogs, which are then compounded further by mortgage offers running out, or by buyers’ re-evaluating their finances when facing a dynamic which juxtaposes high house prices with rising household bills and creeping inflation. This uncertainty leads to sales stalling or being delayed, again impacting monthly transaction volumes.
“There continues to be exceptional demand despite cost of living pressures and in a turbulent economy lawyers caseloads might be smaller than they were this time last year, but they are increasingly complex. At the same time, buyers and sellers are all pushing for quick sales before interest rates rise again, or before we see expected further inflation and energy bill rises in the autumn which could impact demand. All those factors mean the conveyancing sector continues to operate under immense strain.
“When we look at the range of pressures the market has faced in the last two years, rapid digitisation is essential. Driving efficiency through technology adoption will create a transaction process that is more robust, better able to cope with a range of pressure points, and better suited to servicing modern buyers and sellers who are increasingly tired of a transaction process that can often be slow and stressful for all involved.”