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|Conveyancing Association sets out 2016 aims and ambitions|
|Thursday, 07 January 2016|
The Conveyancing Association (CA) , the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, has today (7th January 2016) outlined what it sees as the major challenges for the market in 2016 as well as highlighting its aims and ambitions for the year ahead.
The Association believes 2016 could be a particularly challenging year for the wider property market and there will be a number of obstacles to overcome for the conveyancing sector. These include the likelihood of a very busy quarter one period as buy-to-let landlords/second home purchasers attempt to beat the 3% rise in stamp duty charge, announced last year by the Chancellor and due to come into effect post-31st March.
Regulatory changes – a commitment of the Government - may also mean a further opening up of the conveyancing marketplace allowing major brands to look at the provision of conveyancing services. The demise of Veyo – the Law Society joint venture, intended to be a national conveyancing portal - last year means there is still a space for such a system, and this may well emerge during 2016.
Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association, said: “2016 promises to be an eventful year to say the least. Quarter one in particular could be a very busy period for conveyancing firms as buy-to-let and second-home purchasers seek to complete before the 31st March, after which the stamp duty rises come into effect. From a wider viewpoint, the UK property market is still suffering from a lack of housing supply and this will continue to fuel an increase in house prices over the short- to medium-term.
“The process of purchasing property is also under great scrutiny and there’s no doubting the Government is looking to make the house-buying process more ‘consumer friendly’. Therefore, as an industry we have to expect and welcome greater competition and make sure we raise our game in order to offer better service levels to all.
“It is a great shame the Veyo did not move from concept to reality and there remains a vacuum that needs to be filled with regard to establishing a national conveyancing portal which provides greater transparency to the house transfer process. The Association will certainly be supportive of any further moves to develop this.
Following on from its inaugural annual conference, held in London last month, the CA has developed its work plan for 2016 which will cover some key industry developments, including:
· The launch of the second edition of its Conveyancing Protocol, which is intended to streamline the conveyancing process.
· New training courses as part of its Conveyancing Academy for conveyancing paralegals, estate agents, non-conveyancers and the conveyancing industry as a whole.
· On ongoing focus on speeding up the Leasehold process and making it fairer.
· Working with the lender community to reduce the number of unnecessary enquiries, create standardisation and reduce delays in the process.
· The launch of a Cyber Security and Property Fraud Protocol – a very important piece of work as cyber fraud continues to represent a growing risk to conveyancers and their clients.
· Membership growth, both conveyancing firms and affiliate members.
· Further expansion of the CA’s charity work through the highly successful, Conveyancing Foundation.
Goldsmith added: “2016 will be an incredibly busy year for the Association as we expand our offering and the services we offer to members. It’s also the year when many of the projects we have been working on come to fruition with a number of exciting launches and developments which will not only benefit individual firms, but the industry in general, and we hope the wider property market.
“Much of the CA’s work is on streamlining processes and simplifying (where appropriate) the current workings of the conveyancing sector and ensuring greater levels of communication with the variety of stakeholders who feed into it. There’s no doubting in our mind that we have the potential to develop a much more user-friendly conveyancing experience for all and we are working in a number of areas to develop this. The Prime Minister recently suggested that 2016 would be a ‘game changer’ for the UK and it is our aim at the CA to ensure the same will be said for the conveyancing industry in the months ahead.”
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