Conveyancing and Covid three years on
Three years ago, the world of conveyancing stood still and life as we knew it changed. Everything went on hold for those who had hoped to move house in the spring of 2020. So what has happened to the property market in the past three years?
UK House Prices
UK house prices have risen by +20.4% (£48,620) over the last three years and what clients want from homes has changed. Home office space as people adapted to working from home and a garden or outdoor space were all top of wish lists during lockdowns when we all craved that little bit of an escape.
Three years on from the start of the pandemic we continue to want our own space and the demand for detached homes is increasing, as is their value. At the start of 2021, annual growth for detached homes had jumped to +9.2% compared to just +8.8% or £28,757 in the three years prior.
National Conveyancing Week
It’s been a mixed few years for the property market but during the month of March 2023, a brand-new initiative, ‘National Conveyancing Week’, was launched to improve the experience of home movers, professionals and all those involved in the home moving process.
Welcoming the scheme property solicitors say anything to help out those buying and selling homes is a good idea and post-pandemic working together is the way forward. But looking back, when property activity was on hold in March 2020, it was a shock for all involved, remembers Michelle Ong, Residential Conveyancing Solicitor at Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers:
“We had clients packed up and ready to exchange and complete and then lockdown came, all of sudden clients were not allowed to move and removal men had to be cancelled on the day as the Government rolled out their covid regulations for all to stay at home.”
“The property market transformed almost overnight and we had to manage the crisis as it hit. Then we had Stamp Duty reforms as the Government tried to keep the housing market buoyant and we had a surge in transactions as initial restrictions began to ease. Those who were supposed to have moved were eager and ready to move, as well as a whole raft of new clients whose homes did not meet their demands during lockdown,” she adds.
Conveyancing Solicitors UK
At Pearson Solicitors, during the lockdowns, our ability to service our clients remained uninterrupted. It really was a case of ‘business as usual’, which was a real positive, particularly as we act for conveyancing clients from all over the country. By having the infrastructure in place, such as an online property portal, using electronic signatures and online meetings via Zoom and Teams meant we were able to react swiftly and service our regional and national clients.
We are taking more instructions from London and South East based clients which we’d like to think is down to the great service we provide, our competitive fees and not forgetting being shortlisted on a national scale for ‘Property Team of the Year’ at the LEAP Modern Law Firm Awards in 2022 which received coverage far and wide.
According to the Halifax House Price Index, the South East of England saw the most significant jump in property prices, up by £69,224 (+21.3%) from £325,448 to £394,672, and more we are taking instruction from London-based and South East clients.
Similarly, our North West traditional housing stock of semi-detached and terraced houses has also seen an average value increase by +23.1% (£55,361) and +21.1% (£38,743) respectively.
“We have been through some major changes, but the property market is still going strong, even with interest rates and mortgage changes. We are still getting lots of recommendations and second and third-time movers coming back and it is lovely to see clients moving up the property ladder despite challenging economic times,” said Michelle Ong.
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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.