Skip to main content

Impact of Brexit on conveyancing and the need for a strategy

Love it or hate it we are now destined to leave the European Union.  

Personally I consider this to be a reckless move and one which will impact on the lives of not only those close to retirement like myself but also our children and grandchildren.  There is much talk of democracy and of how the people have spoken and made their voice known.  

I do get that but if every major decision in the governing of our country was left to the lottery of a referendum I am not sure we would still be living in a democracy. The risk of anarchy through ill-informed and disconnected decision making would be heightened.  Isn’t this why we elect people to Parliament to take these major decisions on our behalf?  Surely when the leader (former) of the Government (which the majority of the country voted in) is saying its best to stay in Europe and the people decide its best to leave, does this not in itself undermine the whole democratic process and the sovereignty of Parliament?

Notwithstanding some tricky and so far unanswered constitutional questions, the fact is we are leaving and as I have been told so many times recently – I need to accept it and get on with planning my business accordingly.

Even though I initially pushed back when being told this, the fact is, it is when looking at the situation rationally, good advice.  The time for moping and reflecting on what might have been should be viewed as over.  As business people we need to look at this as yet another hurdle in life and one which needs a strategy to make sure we are able to survive, continue to grow and more importantly preserve jobs of those who work for us.

So what’s going to happen to the property market?  Who knows! Not even the experts are able to speculate on what might and might not happen.  So what do we know for certain?  The pound is weak and continues to fall in the currency market.  The Stock Exchange is experiencing sever fluctuations in prices.  The Country has been stripped of its AAA credit rating. The Government is split on Brexit and the Prime Minister ducking his responsibilities to the Country has decided to resign.  The opposition is not effective and is in melt down.  The long period of stability and certainty stemming from a severe recession has vanished overnight. Clearly given all of this you don’t need to be an economist to know that we are now facing a financial crisis which will inevitably impact on consumer confidence.

As a consumer looking to buy or sale a property there is no longer any short to medium term certainty that interest rates will not increase, property values will not fall and job security will prevail.   Not knowing what will happen in this respect will clearly cause the property market to stall.  For how long who knows but most economists are looking at a 25% fall in transaction numbers over the next 12 months.

So what do we do?  Bury our heads in the sand or as I say look to form and implement a strategy? The conveyancing market will contract this is inevitable so as a business there is a need to make sure a larger share of the market is secured.  This can only be achieved through reducing prices and looking to reduce outgoings.  Regrettably this could lead in some places to job losses.

The only upside to all of this is that the cost of borrowing could become cheaper and with property prices in some parts of the country falling this could stimulate some activity.  Those who have job security may be well placed to make a move in the property market to grab a ‘bargain’ with low cost borrowing. As a seller or buyer or both this may very well be the time to enter or re-enter the property ladder.

Furthermore, the property market in London is unlikely to be impacted due to demand outstripping supply.  The fall in the pound is also likely to attract more foreign investors looking for long term investment in property.

Those who supported our departure from Europe played down the impact of Brexit and in my view misled voters on the recessionary consequences which are inevitable when as is the case the Country is currently operating in a state of uncertainty.

David Pett Solicitor 

The views expressed herein are the personal views of the writer. 


Peter Ambrose said…
Interesting comments, as ever, David, but I do have to take issue with how to deal with changes in markets. Cutting prices to win business which in turn leads to staff reduction simply cannot be the right way to go.

I would suggest that maybe increasing prices and market share would be a better way to go, don't you think?

(You do need a strong proposition to carry this off, but with the right positioning and execution this shouldn't be a problem).
David Pett said…
Thank you Peter.


The difference in approach stems from the fact we have different starting points.

Our models are very different. You rely on agent referrals and therefore have control over pricing whereas we are dependent on self generated leads and converting 'purchased' leads. We have to compete with others who are chasing the same lead. We need to be competitive on price and in fixing the price we need to be aware of market forces.

For us its not a case of securing more work its more about preserving our existing market share. Adjusting price may therefore be necessary if the market as I anticipate shrinks.

Hopefully your agents will continue to see numbers coming through meaning you will be able to preserve your pricing.


Popular posts from this blog

Party Wall Act Costs - Protecting the building owner from the Highwayman

One of the most worrying aspects of entering the Party Wall Act 1996 (Act) arena is the uncertainty surroundingfees, or as they are referred to within the Act -‘costs’.
If you are fortunate enough ( or some might say lucky enough) to have at your side a competent party wall surveyor, and one with a moral compass, the chances are you will derive a certain degree of protection.However, there is still no guarantee you will not need to set aside a considerable sum of money to cover the cost of becoming trapped within the Act.This applies equally to both building owner and adjoining owner, and one must not forget that if an adjoining owner’s surveyor does not recover all of his costs from the building owner, there is every possibility the adjoining owner may be left to meet the remaining liability.
The problem of high, unreasonable and unpredictable costs is caused, in part, by a piece of malfunctioning legislation, and patly as a result of certain unconscionable conduct on the p…

Building Regulations and moving home

Do I have supply evidence of Building Regulation Approval in respect of works carried out to my property when I look to sell my property?
If you have the approval then of course supply it – it will help to ensure your sale moves quickly.
If you have carried out works and approval was required and sought and you no longer have a certificate then call the issuing council and ask for a duplicate.
If you have carried out work, and the work required building regulation approval, but this was not sought then you need to consider with your solicitor when the work was carried out and what to do in response to your buyer’s request for sight of the approval.
The following may help.
Check that work carried out actually required building regulation approval as not all work attracts the requirement.
If the building work was carried out before November 1985 it would not require building regulation approval. There is no need therefore to supply it or offer indemnity insurance.
If work was carried out af…

Do not purchase a New Build Property without first reading this....

Buying a property which has yet to be built, or which is newly constructed should be approached with care and here are some tips which will help:
Remember those friendly and helpful people within the sales offices are sales people and are no different from those people who you would find in car and double-glazing showrooms.  They are paid on results and work under the pressure of targets.   Once they have you signed up they will be your best friend and be in regular, sometimes daily, contact until they have collected all of you money.   There are many instances when this shadowing could be conceived as harassment.At the outset you will be asked about whether you have a mortgage and a solicitor to undertake the legal work.   You will be steered towards making use of the developers preferred brokers and solicitors.  These are ‘partners’ who have been chosen to work with the developer as the developer expects those partners to report to them regularly and to do all they can to ensure the …