News & Media

November 10, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE LATEST ONS CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments: ''For decades, the UK has been plagued by sluggish output in the home construction sector – so much that we predict a shortfall of over a million new homes by 2022. But, today’s figures show the foundations are being laid to stop the gap widening further between UK housing supply and demand.''

October 31, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE LATEST HMRC QUARTERLY STAMP DUTY STATISTICS, Q3

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments: ''The cost of homeownership has departed the realm of reality for millions with the number of transactions in the £500,000 to £2million price bands doubling over the past ten years. Today’s figures highlight the double edged sword of the UK property sector. Market conditions are pushing up house prices further and further, which in turn means buyers are facing higher stamp duty bills.''

October 24, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #15: PROPTECH: EVOLUTION MUST NOW FOLLOW THE REVOLUTION

Andrew Lloyd - Whether you’re a tech pessimist or junkie it is very difficult to build a case to deny the fintech revolution the world has witnessed in the 21st Century. Fintech is such a powerful change because it solves problems with legacy systems and ways of working. Paypal made it easier for people to make payments electronically. Kickstarter allowed tiny, niche start-up businesses to get access to funding. I think we’re approaching the same moment in proptech.

October 16, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON TODAY’S RIGHTMOVE HOUSE PRICE INDEX

Featured in Today's Conveyancer: By Andy Sommerville “Without urgent action home ownership will remain nothing more than a Christmas wish for many aspiring homeowners. “There is clearly still plenty of confidence in the housing market as sellers’ price expectations for newly listed homes increase. Some will see the rising national average asking price as a sign of health, but in a market suffering from chronic unaffordability this is yet another indicator that reform is required to prevent inflated pricing. This is especially true in a climate where we expect a cumulative shortfall of one million new homes by 2022 compared to what we need to be building to satisfy demand"

October 10, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #14: THE BEGINNING OF THE END – COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SEARCHES ARE CHANGING FOREVER

Andrew Lloyd - It’s the beginning of the end for searches as we know them in the commercial property market. And that’s a very good thing.   A bold statement from someone in our line of work, we know. But we’ve never been content with the status quo. Today’s commercial property market already wants – and needs – better due diligence processes than when the Search Acumen team, in our previous working lives, longer ago than we sometimes care to remember, pioneered the approach that many law firms still use.

October 04, 2017

THERESA MAY ANNOUNCES FURTHER £2BN FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Featured in the Financial Reporter: “Theresa May’s pledge to invest an extra £2bn in affordable housing is the first building block to making up for years of under supply and we can only hope that this is not simply another empty promise to fix our broken housing market. Now that our leaders share the industry’s sense of urgency, we must act to build more homes and we must act quickly. The gulf between supply and demand is widening each day. For the property and construction industry, this is the cue for Britain to start building.”

October 02, 2017

A SEARCH ACUMEN STUDY HAS FOUND ENGLAND COULD BE SHORT 1 MILLION HOMES BY 2020

Featured in the Telegraph: "New research by conveyancing services provider Search Acumen found that a deficit of more than 500,000 homes has formed in England, compared to the number of new households created. It also warned that if current housebuilding and population growth trends continue, England could lack one million new homes by 2022".

September 06, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER – Q2 2017 EDITION

Activity in the UK conveyancing market dipped significantly over Q2 2017, as stagnant housing supply and restricted home moving activity pushed total conveyancing volumes down 14% to 210,964 from 245,738 in Q1 2017: the fewest cases in a single quarter since mid-2013.

August 15, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE LATEST ONS HOUSE PRICE INDEX

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “A slowdown in house price growth is good news for first-time buyers and those looking to move up or down the housing ladder. At the same time, lethargic price growth will undoubtedly worry those who have a large amount of equity tied up in property."

August 10, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE LATEST RICS RESIDENTIAL MARKET SURVEY

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “The shadow over the housing market is leaving no corner untouched as the stagnation that has been affecting London and the South East markets begins to spread and bring the UK housing market even closer to a standstill.

August 03, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #13: REAL TRANSPARENCY BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY

Andrew Lloyd - Many people in the business world will tell you that transparency is optional - especially for small businesses. They’ll tell you that so long as nobody is demanding information from your company you don’t necessarily have to be forthcoming. In this digital age, this attitude is having to change.

July 26, 2017

WHAT PRODUCTIVITY PUZZLE? CONVEYANCERS’ OUTPUT SOARS 69% SINCE 2012

Productivity levels in the conveyancing market have soared, rising by 69% in just four years from 71 cases per year in 2012 to 120 cases per year in 2016. With cases continuing to rise but the number of conveyancers falling, those who remain are faced with an ever-increasing workload and are being forced to find more ways to work smarter.

July 21, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON HMRC PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS, JUNE 2017

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments on HMRC Property Transactions June 2017: “While temperatures have soared this summer, the property market has seen only a gradual uptick in transactions during recent months. Factoring in seasonal adjustments leaves activity looking fairly flat, and it’s no coincidence that an unexpected election result has coincided with the first drop in monthly residential and non-residential transactions to below 100,000 and 10,000 respectively this year.

July 13, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE LATEST RICS RESIDENTIAL MARKET SURVEY, JUNE 2017

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments on the latest RICS Residential Market Survey for June 2017: “Prospective buyers are treading on eggshells, but four straight months of decline in newly agreed sales doesn’t reflect a negative sentiment in the market. People want to buy. We just have a chronic shortage of housing and the government is failing to provide the antidote.

July 05, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #12: DON’T JUST MANAGE DATA, EXPLOIT IT

Andrew Lloyd - In recent years, developments in big data and technology have received mixed messages from within the legal profession. Many lawyers are terrified to see their expertise - which they have worked so hard to accrue - being devalued and replaced by technology. To accept this change means understanding how technology, when correctly managed, is transforming the legal business in a positive way.

June 13, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON ONS UK HOUSE PRICE INDEX, APRIL 2017

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “In the wake of a general election that saw housing affordability issues come to the fore, an uplift in house price growth from March and April will be met with mixed reactions during an already turbulent time. With many looking to the property market as a barometer of the wider economy, comfort will be taken in today’s figures, calming anxieties of a possible downturn as we go into Brexit negotiations. It does however remain to be seen whether this growth is simply a false economy, being propped up by a critical lack of housing supply."

December 21, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON TODAY’S HMRC TRANSACTION DATA

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments: “With the end of 2016 in clear sight, the resilience of the commercial market is one that continues to surprise many. Counter to the pre-Brexit predictions of a meltdown, the number of non-residential transactions in November was 11% percent higher compared with the same month last year, growing 6% percent from October alone.

June 08, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE LATEST RICS RESIDENTIAL MARKET SURVEY MAY 2017

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “The property market has flatlined as buyers and sellers alike have remained hesitant and cautious in the run-up to the general election. “With the result of the election just around the corner, it will hopefully encourage buyers and sellers to abandon their ‘wait and see approach’ and give them greater certainty and clarity to pursue their property-buying ambitions with confidence.

June 05, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #11: STAGNANT AND STABLE? 2017’S SNAP ELECTION AND THE PROPERTY MARKET

Andrew Lloyd - The Prime Minister’s pitch to the electorate is strong and stable leadership during a period of Brexit negotiations. But the present reality is a stagnant but stable market. And the election, at least in the short term, is adding to the uncertainty. Could the result mean a time of opportunity and growth is just around the corner? Or just another bump in the long term trend? What could the election mean for the property market?

May 22, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER – Q1 2017 EDITION

Quarterly activity levels have shown little sign of movement in the year so far, with conveyancing volumes up from 245,275 in Q4 2016 to 245,738 in Q1 2017, according to the Q1 2017 edition of the Conveyancing Market Tracker from conveyancing search provider Search Acumen.  Meanwhile, unprecedented levels of activity in early 2016 caused an 11% year-on-year decline in activity, worsened by February 2017 witnessing the lowest level of monthly activity since April 2014.

May 16, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON ONS UK HOUSE PRICE INDEX, MARCH 2017

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “Today’s figures show that UK house prices are continuing to slow, falling from 5.6% growth in February to 4.1% in March. This trajectory is no doubt reflective of the wider sentiment of the UK housing market, with the industry remaining flat and stagnant in the face of ongoing uncertainty.”

May 11, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE LATEST RICS RESIDENTIAL MARKET SURVEY

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments on the latest RICS Residential Market Survey for April 2017: “April’s figures demonstrate that the political and economic uncertainty is continuing to take its toll on the UK property market, with buyer interest and number of sales continuing to decline and housing stock close to record lows. The calling of a general election has only served to dampen buyer’s appetite further as many are choosing to exercise caution until greater clarity emerges about the future of the UK economy and their finances."

May 05, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #10: BIG DATA - UNVEILING NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR UK SOCIAL HOUSING

Andrew Lloyd - This blog, will contribute to the 2.5 billion gigabytes of data uploaded to the World Wide Web today. Conversations around big data come thick and fast in our modernising economy. For years now, creative minds have dreamt up ways of harnessing the power of data to analyse patterns and trends relating to human behaviour and interactions.

May 03, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN IMPROVES EFFICIENCY AND TRANSPARENCY IN THE CONVEYANCING MARKET WITH QUOTATION TOOL

The quotation tool is a complimentary service offered to Search Acumen’s clients which enables conveyancing firms to get more business through quick access to quotes when receiving a request by phone or email. Conveyancing firms can additionally embed the tool within their websites and allow direct access by homebuyers looking for an instant online quotation via a ‘get a quote’ button; providing complete transparency to existing and potential customers.

April 28, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON TODAY’S HMRC QUARTERLY STAMP DUTY STATISTICS

“The squeeze on affordability appears to be continuing as today’s statistics from HMRC reveal that Q1 2017 saw a 39% drop in transactions that were not liable for stamp duty land tax. Prospective buyers are being priced out of the market by surging house prices and a decrease in transactions with low tax thresholds is symptomatic of the housing crisis that burns on.

April 21, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON TODAY'S HMRC PROPERTY TRANSACTION FIGURES, MARCH 2017

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “Housing transactions reached their highest point last month since the headlong rush to beat the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge twelve months earlier in March last year. A modest monthly rise from February 2017 nonetheless shows that a recovery in the residential property market is underway, with seasonally-adjusted transactions topping 100,000 for three successive months.

April 07, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN ARE FIRST TO OFFER COMMERCIAL TITLE OWNERSHIP DATA TO REAL ESTATE LAWYERS

Search Acumen, the property search provider, has announced it is the first in the industry to offer Land Registry’s Commercial Title Ownership data to its customers free of charge as the next step in the evolution of its commercial real estate platform.   As part of Land Registry’s commitment to greater transparency of public information and unlocking its data for commercial use, over 3 million records of Commercial Title Ownership data are available to the public.

March 31, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON TODAY’S DCLG HELP TO BUY (EQUITY LOAN SCHEME) STATISTICS: 1 APRIL 2013 TO 31 DECEMBER 2016

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “The latest data on the Help to Buy equity loan scheme shows that on the surface the Government have made a successful first step in easing up the housing market for first time buyers. Four in five purchasers under the scheme fall into this category and the clear majority of first time buyers are taking advantage of the deposit required of up to 5%.

March 29, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #9: BYOD: HOW TO STAY CYBER SAVVY ON YOUR OWN DEVICE

Andrew Lloyd - Last week, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) was added to the long list of organisations victimised by the modern day threat of cyber-crime, placing 42,000 individual's personal information into the world of the unknown. Shocking news? Absolutely not. It feels as though there are few weeks that go by where a different online security breach isn't uncovered in the press, and it is about time corporations sought to seize back control of their information networks for good.

March 21, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON TODAY’S ONS HOUSE PRICE INDEX (JANUARY 2017) AND HMRC PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS (FEBRUARY 2017)

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “Last week’s statistics on housing affordability proved just how disproportionate the gap between the average salary and house price has been over the past decade. Today’s ONS statistics reveal the first picture of the New Year and show us that the strong growth in UK house prices have little sign of easing. Average house prices in the UK have increased by 6.2 percent in the year to January 2017 – rising above December’s year-on-year growth – and will be leaving current homeowners celebrating whilst prospective buyers will be further deflated from their hopes of embarking on the housing ladder.

March 20, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON TODAY’S ONS HOUSING AFFORDABILITY STATISTICS FOR ENGLAND AND WALES: 1997 TO 2016

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “Today’s statistics reveal that the typical price paid for residential property in England and Wales increased by 259% between 1997 and 2016 – an obviously significant jump over nearly two decades. On average, working people could expect to pay around seven and a half times their annual salary when purchasing a home in England and Wales last year, up from around three and a half times their earnings twenty years ago.

March 02, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #8: THE OPEN DATA REVOLUTION HAS JUST BEGUN

Mark Riddick - The legal and property industries have, arguably, been slower than most to take up technology and embrace big data in the digital age. But the reality is that for many years, they didn’t have to.   Compare the traditional conveyancer or estate agent with some of their high street neighbours, such as retailers, banks or building societies; the internet forced many of them to start shifting their business online over a decade ago, with traditional players thrown into a ‘do or die’ battle for survival. Some well-known names were outmanoeuvred by plucky start-ups and international distribution giants.

February 23, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT HOUSEBUILDING STATISTICS, 2016

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “2016 housebuilding starts soared to their highest level seen in England since the financial crisis in 2008 – reaching over 150,000 across all dwellings. During a year filled with uncertainty, many thought the housebuilding sector would crumble under the pressure of the Brexit vote but the industry has shown admirable robustness through the dark days."

February 21, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER – Q4 2016 EDITION

During a year that shook the property sector with uncertainty, the total number of conveyancing firms operating in the market broke a five year trend of annual decline, according to Search Acumen’s Conveyancing Market Tracker. In 2016, the number of conveyancing firms rose by 4% to reach 5,572, up from 5,357 the year before.

February 14, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE ONS HOUSE PRICE INDEX, DECEMBER 2016

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “2017 will almost certainly be another year of big house price increases. The final month of 2016 saw a 1.4% jump in house prices, setting the tone for the year ahead. A 7.2% annual rise in values in 2016, what could at the very least be considered a tricky year for the economy, is not the sign of a healthy market - it is a symbol of a national failure to build enough homes to meet demand. Interest rates are at record lows, and yet young people cannot afford to get onto the ladder, because prices are rising much faster than incomes.

February 08, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE GOVERNMENT'S HOUSING WHITE PAPER

Andrew Lloyd, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “The battle for a more efficient housing market has sprung into action with the publication of the Housing White Paper marking a vital acknowledgement of the current broken system. Planning for the right homes in the right places, building homes faster and diversifying the market are all welcomed ploys, but the announced modernisation of Land Registry mustn’t be overlooked as a leap in the right direction for our industry.

January 26, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #7: RETHINKING ‘QUALITY VERSUS QUANTITY’

Andrew Lloyd - The ‘quality versus quantity’ discussion has been prevalent in conveyancing firms for as long as I can remember. Sacrifice one to achieve the other is the common perception – but should we really see these elements as mutually exclusive?

January 12, 2017

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #6: THE FRAUD-PROOF CONVEYANCER

Andrew Lloyd - There are few aspects of our lives that have not been revolutionised and re-revolutionised by the ongoing advances in the tech-sphere.   Conveyancing is no exception. The way data is sourced, held, interpreted and shared has transformed our sector and has the potential to lead us to new levels of productivity and efficiency. Search Acumen, for one, has built a model which lends itself to technology and all the benefits that come with using the very latest software and data storage, but we must be aware of the risks – new paths for fraud are opening as we take our lives online.

December 21, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON TODAY’S HMRC TRANSACTION DATA

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments: “With the end of 2016 in clear sight, the resilience of the commercial market is one that continues to surprise many. Counter to the pre-Brexit predictions of a meltdown, the number of non-residential transactions in November was 11% percent higher compared with the same month last year, growing 6% percent from October alone.

December 08, 2016

CONVEYANCING PRODUCTIVITY SOARS WITH A 55% RISE IN TRANSACTIONS PER CONVEYANCER OVER THREE YEARS

Productivity levels in the conveyancing market sped up by a significant 55% over three years to reach an average rate of 110 transactions per conveyancer last year, according to the first Conveyancing Productivity Index from conveyancing search provider Search Acumen.

December 07, 2016

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #5 – 2017 MUST BE A YEAR OF PRODUCTIVITY FOR CONVEYANCERS

Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director of Search Acumen, discusses the productivity challenge facing conveyancers and the launch of the Conveyancing Productivity Index.

December 06, 2016

DEALING WITH DONALD: IS THE PROPERTY INDUSTRY READY FOR THE UNEXPECTED?

Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director of Search Acumen, comments: A disunited European Union, a US election rocked by controversy and an underperforming Chinese economy – as 2016 enters its closing stages I’m sure economists far and wide will be glad to see the back of what has been a year of unpredictability. As our friends across the Atlantic come to terms with a Trump Presidency, all heads on UK soil remain focused on the divorce settlement with the EU, which will see uncertainty flow into 2017. There’s one thing property professionals can learn from these tumultuous times – to expect the unexpected.

November 24, 2016

THE GOVERNMENT’S DECISION NOT TO PRIVATISE LAND IS A LOGICAL CONCLUSION OF GOVERNMENT FOLLY

Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director of Search Acumen, comments: “Buried deep under the big housing announcements in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was news which comes as a great victory for the property and legal industries – the official end to the government’s second attempt to privatise Land Registry.

November 23, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE CHANCELLOR’S AUTUMN STATEMENT, 23RD NOVEMBER

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments: “After his first and last Autumn Statement, the property market will be cautiously toasting the Chancellor’s opening bid to tackle the housing crisis with the £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund and the pledge that £3.15bn will be sent straight to the Capital to create 90,000 affordable homes.

November 22, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON MARKET CONFIDENCE AFTER BREXIT

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments: “After witnessing a 4.3% decrease between August and September, it is encouraging to see the seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count return to growth in October.

November 18, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER – Q3 2016 EDITION

Quarterly conveyancing activity fell by 5% between Q2 and Q3 as the UK property sector weathered the result of the EU referendum and consumer confidence was tainted by uncertainty, resulting in volumes nosediving from 286,485 in Q2 to 271,197 in Q3. Despite this, year-on-year activity was effectively flat, declining just 1% according to the Q3 edition of the Conveyancing Market Tracker from conveyancing search provider Search Acumen.

October 24, 2016

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #4 – DOES THE GOVERNMENT REALLY NEED TO REFORM THE HOUSE-BUYING PROCESS?

Andrew Lloyd - The government’s pending call for evidence on reforming the house-buying process has been welcomed by many who believe change from the top could deliver efficiencies and reduce the number of failed transactions. I, alongside many, have fully supported attempts to improve the consumer and solicitor experience

September 12, 2016

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #3: LAND REGISTRY RETHINK A VICTORY FOR COMMON SENSE

Andrew Lloyd - The government is thinking again on Land Registry privatisation. If the abandonment of the sale is confirmed, this will be both a victory for common sense and a vindication of the property industry’s spirited campaign against the proposal over the past twelve months. Brexit or no Brexit, it is absolutely the right thing to do.

September 08, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON DCLG GREEN BELT STATISTICS

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments on the release of today’s DCLG Green Belt Statistics for England 2015/16

September 06, 2016

SMALL FIRMS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RECORD RISE IN CONVEYANCING

Despite pre-Brexit fears, the property market has boomed amid SDLT changes Property transactions in Q2 grew by almost a quarter year-on-year as buyers raced to beat changes to stamp duty land tax (SDLT), new research has found.

August 25, 2016

STAMP DUTY AFTERSHOCK TRIGGERS ROLLERCOASTER RIDE FOR CONVEYANCERS AHEAD OF BREXIT VOTE

Completed conveyancing activity in Q2 rose by nearly a quarter (24%) over the year as the market witnessed the aftershock of the 3% stamp duty tax hike • April 2016 saw the largest number of firms responsible for completed transactions at Land Registry since September 2014 • The top five ranked firms recorded the highest quarterly (17%) and yearly (41%) growth across the market in Q2 • Pre-Brexit rollercoaster ride pushes activity up 14% year-on-year in both May and June

August 17, 2016

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #2: SHOULD LAWYERS FOCUS ON BEING LAWYERS?

Andy Sommerville - It goes without saying that being a partner in a law firm involves plenty of hard work. The more senior your role, the more effort and time that needs to be allocated towards management and making the hard-hitting business decisions that will drive the firm’s growth. As you ascend the partnership’s management ladder, the amount of time you can spend on your regular ...

August 10, 2016

SLOUGH HAS MOST FOREIGN-OWNED PROPERTIES OUTSIDE LONDON

Slough has the highest proportion of properties owned by offshore companies outside London, according to an analysis of Land Registry data.

July 06, 2016

CONVEYANCING ACUMEN #1: CAN CONVEYANCING EVER BE EASY?

Andy Sommerville - Conveyancing is hard work. I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently and believe it’s a fitting discussion point for my first contribution to Search Acumen’s new Conveyancing Acumen blog series.

June 16, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN AND LAND DATA ANNOUNCE WEBINAR TO BRING CONVEYANCERS UP TO SPEED ON CON 29 AND CON 29O CHANGES

Search Acumen, the conveyancing search provider, has partnered with Land Data – the NLIS regulator and leading authority on electronic land and property information – to host two editions of a webinar to help conveyancers prepare for changes to CON 29 and CON 29O .

June 10, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN’S ANDREW LLOYD LOOKS BACK ON 15 YEARS IN CONVEYANCING AND SEARCHES

The acceleration in technological developments is set to change conveyancing even more than it has over the last fifteen years, are the thoughts of Search Acumen’s Managing Director, Andrew Lloyd as he looks back on his time in conveyancing searches.

June 07, 2016

CAN WE MAINTAIN CONVEYANCING TURNAROUND LEVELS?

My own impression is that it will take some time for the conveyancing market to get its head around what the first three months of the year delivered. Undoubtedly, this was an incredibly busy period and to say conveyancers were inundated with business seems like something of an understatement.

May 25, 2016

PROPERTY SALES PLUMMET AFTER STAMP DUTY HIKE

Residential property sales have plummeted following April’s rise in stamp duty, new government figures have revealed. According to HM Revenue and Customs, residential property transactions in April were 45% down on the previous month.

May 23, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER Q1 2016

The Q1 2016 edition of Search Acumen’s Conveyancing Market Tracker shows 275,002 transactions were registered in the first quarter of 2016. This was 10% up from Q1 2014, when 251,042 transactions were logged in the rush before the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR).

May 16, 2016

LAND REGISTRY: RAISE FEES, DON’T PRIVATISE, SAY CONVEYANCERS

The government does not need to resort to Land Registry privatisation to maximise returns in order to pay down the national debt, a trade body has said today. The Conveyancing Association says increasing the Land Registry registration fee and reversing a recent halving of fees for electronic registrations would ‘immediately’ double Land Registry’s income ‘yet is a relatively small burden for the homebuyer in amongst the other costs and charges involved in the process’.

April 28, 2016

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES STALL IN MARCH ACCORDING TO LAND REGISTRY

Just two regions in England and Wales experienced house price rises in March according to price paid data released by Land Registry, with the average price down half of one percent. Whilst London and the East of the region experienced 0.2% increases, all other regions experienced slight decreases, from a 0.1% drop in the North West through to a 2.6% drop in Yorkshire and The Humber.

April 21, 2016

RICS PREDICTS MORE SUBDUED SALES GROWTH OVER COMING MONTHS DUE TO SDLT REFORMS

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says the previously expected increase in house sales for the coming months will be dampened by the recent rush caused by Stamp Duty reforms.

April 05, 2016

62% RISE IN NEW BUILD BUSINESS FOR AVERAGE CONVEYANCING FIRMS SINCE 2010/11

Rise in planning approvals means new build searches look set to increase.

April 01, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN RELEASE 3D VIRTUAL REALITY SEARCH APP

Search Acumen has today become the first provider to announce a 3D virtual reality search app to meet the modern conveyancer’s needs. Conveyancers can now use the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to navigate Search Acumen’s portal and inspect title plans in three dimensions.

March 24, 2016

LAND REGISTRY FACES PRIVATISATION

The Land Registry is being put for up for sale less than two years after the Liberal Democrats blocked previous plans for a £1bn-plus privatisation. Sajid Javid, the business secretary, faced immediate criticism for announcing the selloff of the 150-year-old agency – which maintains records on the ownership of land and property across England and Wales – just as the Easter break was about to begin.

March 11, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE LATEST RICS RESIDENTIAL MARKET SURVEY

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments on the RICS Residential Market Survey for February 2016: “As expected, the residential market is now planning for the surge in buy-to-let purchases to begin tailing off.

February 29, 2016

ANNUAL HOUSE PRICE GROWTH GALLOPING OUT OF THE STALLS

According to new data from Land Registry, house prices across the UK are up 7.1% on the year with a 2.5% rise seen in the last month. London experienced the greatest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months with a movement of 13.9%.

February 23, 2016

NUMBER OF TRANSACTIONS UP 7.5% YEAR ON YEAR FOR JANUARY 2016

The number of residential transactions for properties worth more than £40,000 in January was 83,590 according to figures released by HMRC, up 7.5% on January 2015. Seasonally adjusted figures also suggest a slight dip from the norm, going from 109,020 in December to 105,940 in January.

February 16, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER Q4

The total number of active conveyancing firms declined at the fastest rate in three years during 2015, according to Search Acumen’s Conveyancer Market Tracker. This left the average firm to record 192 transactions in 2015, 10% above the average of 175 during 2014 despite the overall market remaining flat.

February 15, 2016

CONVEYANCERS – ‘NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY’

The conveyancing market consolidated at its fastest rate in three years in 2015, according to latest sector research.

January 21, 2016

INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW SOMMERVILLE, DIRECTOR OF SEARCH ACUMEN

Jane Common, 21st January 2016 Today – 21st January 2016 – marks Andy Sommerville’s 30 years in the search industry. The co-owner and director of Search Acumen shared the secrets of his longevity in the business – and his success – with Today’s Conveyancer’s Jane Common...

January 15, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE ONS OUTPUT FIGURES – (NOVEMBER 2015)

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments on the ONS output figures – (November2015): “Construction output was down again in November by 0.5%, a continuing a trend we have seen over the past few months. Public sector housing projects were significantly down – by over one fifth on the previous year – and commercial activity was also down.

January 11, 2016

SEARCH ACUMEN SETS A NEW ‘BIG DATA’ PRECEDENT

•Conveyancing search firm is the first to integrate the full Land Registry National Polygon Dataset •Title Intelligence 2.0 improves validation and further reduces the risk of incorrect orders •Technology creates time savings, giving conveyancers a ‘different way of working’

December 07, 2015

THE TALKTALK HACK – IS CYBER SECURITY MORE COMPLICATED THAN WE THINK?

The recent hacking of phone and broadband provider TalkTalk has raised plenty of questions among lawyers about how safe the internet really is. Is our information, stored in distant silicon towers, really protected? Has the penny dropped on IT security? Shouldn’t we be more guarded in our acceptance of new technology and systems?

December 02, 2015

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER Q3

Top 1,000 race ahead in busy conveyancing market. The conveyancing market picked up strongly in the third quarter of 2015 – with the top firms reaping a disproportionate share of the rewards, the latest edition of a regular benchmarking survey shows.

November 19, 2015

SEARCH ACUMEN MARKS ITS SECOND BIRTHDAY BY DOUBLING ITS MARKET SHARE

Search Acumen, the conveyancing search provider, has marked its second anniversary by achieving its target of doubling its residential market share in just 12 months. The company, which was delivering 2.5% of all searches on residential property in October 2014, is now the data supplier of choice for 5% of the market.

November 13, 2015

25% RISE IN HOUSE PRICES PREDICTED

According to the latest data from RICS, house prices are expected to rise by 4.5% per annum over the next five years, resulting in a cumulative increase of around 25% by 2020.

October 27, 2015

ANOTHER FIRST AS SEARCH ACUMEN LAUNCHES ‘PORTFOLIO CLOUD’

Search Acumen has launched its latest product, Portfolio Cloud, which allows conveyancers to conduct searches across entire portfolios through a single interface. The new product is the first of its kind for the commercial market and allows users to create and manage searches on multiple residential or commercial properties simultaneously.

September 23, 2015

RELATIONSHIP WITH CONVEYANCERS RUNS BOTH WAYS

As competition rises among conveyancers, brokers must proactively manage their clients’ expectations

August 24, 2015

CONVEYANCING FIRM NUMBERS DIP IN BUOYANT MARKET

The number of active conveyancing firms has fallen by 3% over the past year despite strong growth in the market, latest figures from a regular survey reveal. According to the Conveyancing Market Tracker published by searches company Search Acumen, the number of active firms rose very slighty in the second quarter of 2015, with 30 more registering transactions than in the first quarter. Year-on-year, however, firm numbers fell from 4,305 to 4,176. The number has declined by 11% over the past four years, the report notes, with 534 firms either merging or leaving the market.

August 18, 2015

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER Q2

Conveyancing activity broke records between April and June 2015, as total transactions reached their highest point for any second quarter of the post-recession era, according to the Conveyancing Market Tracker from Search Acumen, the search provider.

July 29, 2015

SEARCH ACUMEN APPOINTS CAROLINE ROBINSON

Her Appointment, as Business Development Manager, will steer a move into Commercial Real Estate and kick-start consultations with commercial property law firms

July 13, 2015

DEMAND SEES FURTHER MODERATE RISE WHILE PRICE MOMENTUM ACCELERATES

The June RICS Residential Market Survey shows a further acceleration in price growth with the headline price balance hitting an eleven month high of 40. Prices are reported to be rising in the majority of areas, with Northern Ireland and Eat Anglia seeing particularly firm momentum during the month. Driving this pick-up in growth was a further modest rise in demand across most parts of the UK alongside yet another decrease in the level of new instructions.

July 09, 2015

ANALYSIS: SPECIALISTS CONVEY THE BEST BUSINESS

The latest Conveyancing Market Tracker (Q1) from Search Acumen provides more evidence of the way the conveyancing market is heading.

June 25, 2015

SEARCH ACUMEN APPOINTS ZOE DOBSON AS CLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGER

Recruitment will help to maintain service commitment as the business continues to grow. Search Acumen has strengthened its team of experienced industry professionals by appointing Zoe Dobson as Client Relationship Manager. Zoe joins the business from Wessex Searches and increases the size of its Client Relationship Management team to four as Search Acumen continues its rapid growth.

June 24, 2015

PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS TICK UP IN MAY BUT THE OUTLOOK IS UNCERTAIN

The number of UK residential properties sold climbed in May, new data show. A total of 98,540 properties changed hands, according to figures released by HMRC yesterday. It marks a rise on April’s 97,610. However the market is slower than it was a year ago when 101,710 properties were sold. The figures translate to a year-on-year drop of three per cent

June 09, 2015

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER Q1

Conveyancers face mounting pressure to maintain and grow their business as total transactions for the first quarter of 2015 fell 16% from Q4 2014 and 5% year-on-year, according to the Conveyancing Market Tracker from Search Acumen, the search provider.

June 09, 2015

BOLD LEGAL GROUP PARTNERS WITH METRO BANK AND SEARCH ACUMEN

CPD-accredited event will see industry experts discuss emerging issues in risk, compliance, fraud, technology and Veyo. Seminar will address business challenges as the market gains momentum. Bold Legal Group has partnered with Search Acumen and Metro Bank to host a free CPD-accredited seminar for conveyancers, bringing together a panel of industry experts to debate the latest issues affecting the market and its future growth.

May 26, 2015

SEARCH ACUMEN ON TRACK TO DOUBLE IT'S MARKET SHARE

Search Acumen is on track to double its share of the conveyancing search market and hit its 5% target by its second anniversary. Mid-year trading data shows the company’s share of search activity leapt to 4% in the six months from October 2014 to March 2015, having stood at 2.5% at the end of its first year in business.

March 12, 2015

SEARCH ACUMEN LAUNCHES ‘TITLE INTELLIGENCE’ FOR CONVEYANCERS

Using real time access to Land Registry data

February 26, 2015

SEARCH ACUMEN COMMENTS ON THE INFRASTRUCTURE ACT AND THE PLAN TO DIGITISE THE LOCAL LAND CHARGES REGISTER

The Infrastructure Bill gets Royal Assent before Parlimentry Recess

November 18, 2014

WHEN YOU REACH THE END OF YOUR ROPE, TIE A KNOT AND HANG ON

Opportunity Knocks Part Three

October 27, 2014

IT’S A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT

Opportunity Knocks Part Two

October 10, 2014

“IF OPPORTUNITY DOESN’T KNOCK, BUILD A DOOR.” ~MILTON BERLE

Recognising Opportunity

September 05, 2014

THE POLITICS OF PROPERTY

Housing supply and affordability will be a key election issue

July 23, 2014

BE MORE URUGUAY?

No! Be More Germany!

May 06, 2014

GEEKS WIN

… and it gets Personal…. again.

April 08, 2014

INTELLIGENT CONVEYANCING

The Future is not what it used to be

April 01, 2014

VIRTUAL CONVEYANCERS

A solution to the staff recruitment crisis?

June 15, 2016

FIRST COMBINED ONS-LAND REGISTRY HOUSE PRICE GROWTH DATA REVEALS NO SIGN OF A SLOWDOWN DESPITE BREXIT AND BUBBLE FEARS

UK average house prices have increased by 8.2% in the year to April 2016 (down from 8.5% in the year to March 2016), continuing the “strong growth” seen since the end of 2013, according to the latest UK House Price Index (UKHPI).

February 12, 2014

SMASH THE MACHINE?

Failure to embrace the opportunity new technology brings

December 05, 2014

TO #SELFIE OR #UNSELFIE

“Help to Buy” or “Help to Build”?

November 08, 2013

THE PERFECT STORM?

Mark Riddick - 29th October 2013

November 20, 2017

COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL PRE-TRANSACTION SCREENING

Search Acumen, the property search provider, has launched an online platform specifically dedicated to commercial property transactions, designed to transform the due diligence process by providing real estate lawyers with instant access to commercial property data sets and the ability to conduct and manage a portfolio of property searches in one place.

February 25, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN TRANSFORMS COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DUE DILIGENCE WITH LAUNCH OF NEW, FULLY INTEGRATED DATA PLATFORM

Search Acumen, the property search provider, has launched an online platform specifically dedicated to commercial property transactions, designed to transform the due diligence process by providing real estate lawyers with instant access to commercial property data sets and the ability to conduct and manage a portfolio of property searches in one place.

November 20, 2017

SEARCH ACUMEN CONVEYANCING MARKET TRACKER – Q3 2017 EDITION

The UK conveyancing market bounced back in the mid-summer following a significant drop in activity in Q2 2017, with challenger firms taking full advantage of a revival in transaction numbers across the property market. The Q3 2017 edition of Search Acumen’s Conveyancing Market Tracker reveals that total transaction volumes over the three-month period reached 254,606. This was 21% higher than the four-year low recorded during Q2 2017 (210,964), although it remained down 6% year-on-year from 271,197 in Q3 2016.