Conveyancing expert Lloyd Davies predicted that while 2022 may be steadier, prices would continue to rise
Conveyancing expert Lloyd Davies, former Operations Director of the Conveyancing Association, has predicted property prices will continue to climb in the New Year but companies will do more to protect staff from burnout as COVID’s grip continues.
Mr Davies, Managing Director and Founder of specialist residential conveyancing practice Convey Law, who has worked in conveyancing for over 30 years, said the industry had faced its most difficult time since the Second World War during the pandemic with five quarterly Christmas and SDLT deadlines, a massive backlog of work as well as the disruption to office working.
And he predicted that while 2022 may be steadier, prices would continue to rise, explaining: I believe that the pandemic will continue to have an impact on our work and lives, perhaps for several years to come, but most conveyancing practices have adapted to home working and restricted access to the office and have been operating at full capacity for most of this year.
Transaction volumes are still high, although the number of properties on the market is a concern. Demand will continue to outstrip supply as stock is low and so house prices will continue to increase next year – at an average of 8 – 9% I believe. Transaction attrition rates will decrease as purchasers will need to follow through due to the lack of properties to choose from, he said.
Volumes will remain high I believe, at well over a million residential property transactions, following on from the record residential sales year in 2021, forecast to be the busiest year since 2007, and just over a million sales in 2020 and close to that in 2019, Mr Davies said.
The migration away from the cities will continue with city spaces being filled readily by eager youngsters and first time buyers. Prices in rural and coastal areas will rise well above those in the cities as home working and the choice of locality is now a reality for so many, he said.
Mr Davies, whose charity arm The Conveyancing Foundation introduced the successful “Be Kind We Care” campaign in 2021 to encourage professionals to be kinder to each other following complaints from conveyancers that they were being treated unfairly by some fellow professionals, said he believed businesses had learnt that prioritising staff welfare was vital.
He commented: One thing we have all hopefully learned from the last 18 months is to accurately measure and ensure that our Conveyancers are not overloaded with work; that they take regular time away from the office on holidays to avoid burnout; that they don’t overwork from home and that they look after themselves and each other.
We have adopted a hybrid of home and office working, with Conveyancers choosing what works for them so long as service standards and targets are met effectively. Choice and trust have become the norm for most legal practices with their staff and this can only be a good thing for both the businesses and the people involved in our industry, he said.
He added: I believe that there has been a shift in the way that Conveyancers and Estate Agents liaise with each other, with a more professional and understanding approach becoming more prevalent. The wellbeing initiatives engendered by the industry such as the “Be Kind We Care” initiative will continue to drive standards up in the industry, as poor behaviour amongst professionals is no longer acceptable, and industry leaders are enlightened as to how they can get the best out of their teams through wellbeing initiatives and training.
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