X-Press keeps the housing market moving during the pandemic

Julie Edge | 05-Aug-2021

We have witnessed one of our busiest years in over two decades of operation as the housing market boomed during the pandemic. 

Throughout our network, we have seen a 50 per cent increase in the number and value of orders year on year as consumers rushed to take advantage of the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday break.

Lynne Lister, Managing Director of X-Press Legal Services comments: “Although we had a slow period when the housing market was effectively closed for two months during the first lockdown, the measures put in place by the government to encourage buyers to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday have resulted in record numbers of transactions.”

The Stamp Duty Holiday, which was introduced to keep the property market moving throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ended for properties up to £500,000 on 30th June 2021. But for those looking to buy more affordable properties, the tax-break will continue for properties up to £250,000 until 30th September 2021.

Our network of 27 offices across England and Wales perform an essential role in the property buying process. They deliver thousands of property searches and reports per year to the conveyancing sector and are trusted by hundreds of legal practices nationwide.

To support and speed up the conveyancing process for our clients during the pandemic, and throughout the property boom, we also partnered with a remote onboarding app to offer a compliant remote client id verification as part of our suite of digital data services. Our partnership with Thirdfort was announced as industry regulators reminded legal practitioners of the importance of using electronic ID and verification processes in order to safely comply with government social distancing advice whilst in lockdown.

Lynne continues: “As property search specialists, we liaise with local councils every day to access information which is vital to the conveyancing process. Much like other parts of the conveyancing sector, many local councils and search departments have been under incredible pressure throughout the stamp duty holiday, and many didn’t have the technology to meet this increased demand – leading to huge backlogs in turnaround times for reports.

“Our local teams have gone over and above to support our conveyancing clients which is reflected in the operating figures we are witnessing today. Last July we took almost 7,000 orders from our clients worth almost £1.2 million, and we’ve already matched that figure within the first two weeks of July 2021.”

Now that the stamp duty holiday has begun to taper off, local councils can catch up and new transactions may benefit from quicker turnaround times.

Lynne concludes: “We are proud of the success of our local owners who have really pulled together in what has been an exceptional year in more ways than one. “As the property sector is currently showing no signs of slowing down,