Conveyancers will need to ‘raise their game’ in what will be a challenging year, a major trade body has warned.

Announcing today its aims and ambitions for the new year, the Conveyancing Association believes solicitors will have some obstacles to overcome in 2016.

These include a ‘very busy’ quarter-one period as buy-to-let landlords and second-home purchasers attempt to beat the 3% rise in stamp duty land tax, announced by the chancellor in the autumn. It comes into effect in April.

Regulatory changes could also mean a further opening up of the conveyancing market, allowing major brands to look at the provision of conveyancing services.

Association chair Eddie Goldsmith (pictured) said there was ‘no doubting’ that the government was looking to make the house-buying process more ‘consumer-friendly’.

‘Therefore, as an industry, we have to expect and welcome greater competition and make sure we raise our game in order to offer better service levels to all.’

Looking ahead, the association has developed a ‘work plan’ to cover ‘key’ industry developments, including the second edition of its conveyancing protocol, and a a new cybersecurity and property fraud protocol.

Goldsmith said there was ‘no doubting in our mind that we have the potential to develop a much more user-friendly conveyancing experience for all and we are working in a number of areas to develop this.

‘The prime minister recently suggested that 2016 would be a ‘game changer’ for the UK and it is our aim at the association to ensure the same will be said for the conveyancing industry in the months ahead’.