Today's Conveyancer marks second anniversary of first national lockdown

Today’s Conveyancer marks second anniversary of first national lockdown

Today marks the two year anniversary since lockdown measures were first introduced in England to help combat the spread of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Now that restrictions have lifted, with no further isolation requirements and many businesses returning to office environments, Covid-19 seems to have completely faded away from daily life. Although the world appears to have returned to normal, the advent of the pandemic brought with it many changes to the conveyancing and property world, some good, some bad and some of which are here to stay.

The initial stages of lockdown back in 2020 saw a full closure of the property industry for approximately seven weeks, while people and businesses were forced to stay at home limiting all contact with the outside world, the property industry ground to a halt. In a bid to kick-start the market Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday in July 2020, and the flood gates opened once again. The market has since recorded its two busiest transaction years in a decade, with annual sales numbers surpassing 1 million for the first time ever.

Lockdown and resulting office closures prompted a more widespread remote working culture with many businesses, from both within and outside of the conveyancing industry, now adopting hybrid work arrangements, and for some even a 4-day working week, despite the complete removal of restrictions. Changing work circumstances also spilled into the property market, fuelling the so-called “race for space” as prospective buyers looked to move away from city centres in favour of larger properties with outside space.

House prices shot up to an all-time high, with average prices recently breaking the £350,000 mark, and travel bans caused a surge in second home purchases in coastal and countryside beauty spots as holidaymakers were forced to stay in the UK.

Cyber attacks became more frequent as businesses had to learn to adapt to a remote working culture, alongside the added security risks of home WIFI networks and sensitive information being taken outside of secure office environments.

But these are just a few of the business issues that the pandemic brought with it, of course many suffered devastating losses of life, and the virus and lockdowns had profound effects on many people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. As a result of the pandemic the conveyancing industry has arguably faced one of its busiest and most challenging periods yet.

Today’s Media and Today’s Conveyancer were proud to celebrate the huge achievements of the industry alongside approximately 800 attendees at both the virtual British Conveyancing Awards in 2021 and our latest hybrid in-person/remote event in 2022. We’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you all on what has been an incredibly tough couple of years and wish all of our partners, contributors and readers the very best for what lies ahead in a hopefully more “normal” and less Covid-affected world.

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