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Why are conveyancing costs going up?

The property market and inflation and how they affect your conveyancing costs

Buying and selling property

We are all familiar now with the fact that inflation is around, and house prices have been increasing anyway in the last couple of years. House prices went up a lot during the covid related stamp duty holidays, partly because stamp duty was reduced, but also because during lockdown lots of people were looking to relocate to larger houses with gardens, etc. As they realised that they were going to spend more time at home.

The housing market is still fairly vibrant with demand continuing to outpace supply.

This is not only having an effect on house prices but also on the cost of the legal conveyancing.

Conveyancing like the housing market itself has been cyclical so there have been periods where conveyancers are in high demand and periods where they are less so. The demand has been high in the last couple of years with the demand for conveyancing staff outstripping supply for most conveyancing firms. They have responded by raising their prices, often to moderate the flow of work.

In addition, the legal demands on conveyancers have increased a lot. They are now in the front line of anti-money laundering policies which mean that they have to check the source of their clients’ funds and their clients’ identity much more than they used to. Clients are feeling this in the form of being asked more questions and for more information about those things. But it also adds an extra layer of work to the conveyancing transaction which conveyancers are having to add into their fees.

Inflation is also hitting the payments that conveyancers have to make to others on behalf of their clients, known as disbursements. They can include things like Land registry fees, searches, etc. and those are generally all increasing in price.

Conveyancing is regarded as a high-risk legal activity from a professional indemnity insurers perspective, because if something goes wrong it can lead to a very expensive claim against the conveyancer. The good news for clients is that regulated Solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers must have compulsory professional indemnity insurance so that if something does go wrong then an insurer is behind the conveyancer and can pay if necessary. However, the cost of that insurance has gone up a lot in recent years which is another overhead for the conveyancers to bear and incorporate in their fees. Even firms with good claims records have seen large rises in their insurance and ultimately the cost gets passed onto the client.

For all of these reasons it is likely that conveyancing fees will continue to rise.

It is important to be comfortable and confident with your conveyancer because buying a house is a major purchase for anyone. As with so much in life cheapest is not always best. But our website, for free, can help you find the conveyancers who may be best for you. You can read more guidance on How to find and choose a conveyancing lawyer, or if you are a first time buyer you might want to know about Buying a new home with the help to buy scheme.  In addition, you can search for a regulated solicitor for free and without having to provide any of your personal data at