Last week Land Registry produced the figures for those organisations that hold accounts with it showing their activity for March 2012. Information relating to applications for transfers for value (i.e. an approximation of purchase activity) shows a substantial year on year increase in the number of applications but a similarly large reduction in the number of firms making applications.
In March 2011, 46801 applications were made for transfers for value whilst in the same period for 2012, 51015 applications were lodged. However the number of firms making applications went down from 5034 to 4426.
We have previously reported on this consolidation in the conveyancing market however in the past the reduction in firms has often been linked to a reduction in the number of applications.
The trend of the largest firms also taking a greater market share is also evidenced with the top 100 firms increasing their market share from 23.3% of the market to 27.8% of the market in March 2011 and March 2012 respectively.
A number of firms stand out for their growth over the last 12 months. For example BPL solicitors have increased their number of applications from 77 to 198, whilst Conveyancing Direct has grown from 170 to 279. Whilst it is clear that many firms are suffering and leaving the market the evidence points to others achieving considerable growth.