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. 

In the third quarter of 2015 the average number of transactions among the leading 1,000 firms grew by 20% over the previous quarter, the Conveyancing Market Tracker from search company Search Acumen showed.

Across the rest of the market, the growth was only 15%. 

The figures are based on Land Registry data.

They point to a market picking up after a slow start: in the second quarter of the year transactions fell by 4% for the top 1,000 and 2% for the rest of the market. Q3 proved the busiest quarter of 2015 to date, with 273,322 transactions registered in England and Wales, up from 230,430 in Q2.

Mark Riddick, Search Acumen's chairman, said: ‘The conveyancing market returned to life with a vengeance in the third quarter of 2015: not only recording the highest quarterly volumes this year, but also peak third-quarter figures since the market awoke from its post-recession slump.

‘It’s been the trailblazing top 1,000 that have reaped the greatest rewards from a busier property market, and are not far from carrying out three in every four residential transactions between them.

‘All the same, the higher reaches of the conveyancing league table are a diverse space, occupied by firms of many shapes and sizes.

‘Our analysis suggests it is the top five ranking spots which have seen business volumes grow the most over the last year, but those ranked in 51st to 100th position have seen the biggest uplift over the last four years.’