Conveyancing volumes fell by over 10% in the second quarter of this year compared with the first three months, and were down by 20% since the second quarter of 2016.
Quarterly conveyancing volumes were below 230,000 – at 228,994 – for the first time in two years.
The statistics are from Search Acumen, which provides data to conveyancers and tracks the market.
It also says that in the second quarter, the top 1,000 conveyancing firms experienced a 10% drop in conveyancing cases, collectively completing 20,000 fewer transactions than in the first quarter.
Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, said: “Our latest assessment of conveyancing activity has found that Brexit has truly begun to bite for the sector, even before it has truly arrived.
“After three years of increasing uncertainty, we’re finally seeing the result of the ‘wait and see’ approach that many home owners and prospective buyers in England and Wales are taking while Westminster continues to wrangle over the nature of our exit from Europe.
“This Brexit-fuelled market stasis is exacerbating the consolidation trend that has been under way over the last few years.
“Smaller conveyancing firms who were already struggling to compete are now facing tougher conditions, while those who have been able to gain a larger foothold are now taking a bigger slice of activity than ever before.”