Sunshine and blue skies – Will it last?

Looking out from the offices today I see that the sun is shining and we have some glorious blue skies across Cambridgeshire.  I can only hope that it will last through to the weekend so that I can give the grass its second cut of the year. 

To match the great weather I saw the release of the Move with Us Residential Property Market Review Q1 2013 (that’s a mouthful).  If you haven’t seen it, get a copy (z-mag here ), as it is a great indicator of projected conveyancing transaction volumes for the months ahead.  In effect, this review acts as my conveyancing volume weather forecast.

Although I never hold my breath with regard to such matters, I have obtained a slightly more positive outlook for the quarter ahead.  At the beginning of 2013 the UK property market saw a significant increase in new property listings with estate agents (fairly typical for a January) and as the months passed the listing volumes continued to increased reaching a figure in March unseen since May of 2012.

The challenge with such an influx of property to a market would normally see vendors competing for buyers, particularly as purchaser numbers have declined of late, which could result in a drop in prices.  Although January did experience this, it was only marginal.  Since then, vendors appear to have become even more optimistic and asking prices increased to reach an average of £235,000 by the end of the quarter. Unless that optimism was met with increased demand from buyers we were likely to see a fall in prices, longer times to sell and fewer conveyancing transactions would result.  Although this was evidenced in January, the market appeared to adjust to higher prices being set and times to sell actually reduced throughout the quarter. 

In view of the evidence in the review, I have to take it as a positive sign for Q2, 2013.  This could well prove to show increased health in the housing market and a steady increase in the volume of transactions available for conveyancing teams to pick up.

Where will the work end up and who is catching it for your business?  I, for one, will be networking in the virtuous circles within which I exist, to ensure that there is a healthy flow of opportunities coming from the estate agency network to support the solicitor network.  I shall also be representing solicitors in areas of transactional growth, where estate agents are looking for robust legal solutions to enhance the journeys and experiences of their customers, both vendors and buyers alike.   I have also noticed that an ever increasing number of Estate Agents are not so hung up on ‘Local’ conveyancing solutions as they are becoming more interested in robust service excellence with a focus on transaction times, above local relationships (unless they are fortunate enough to have a great local solution).  I think that may have to be the subject for another blog post perhaps….?

As for whether I will get to cut the grass this weekend….. I shall have to hold my breath and let you know the outcome next week.

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