From the highs of 2017, property sale volumes in NSW headed downward for two consecutive years. 2020 was the year that ‘it wanted’ to recover and it was achieving that until Covid appeared.

Total transfers lodged at LRS from December 2019 to April 2020 were 13% greater than in the previous year’s equivalent period. March 2020 was 18% more than March 2019. April 2020 was 15% more than April 2019.

The graph shows that, even with Covid, the (downward) curve was flattening. June 2020 provided even more evidence that the natural cyclical trend was more powerful than an episode of Covid. June 2020 transfers were down by only 5% compared to June 2019. 

From one perspective, Covid came at the best possible time for conveyancers – at a time of cyclically low property transactions. Expectations were already low and Covid only managed to put a dent into low activity. If Covid had occurred at the height of activity, such as in 2017, the effect would have been much more pronounced. 

Some industries and businesses took their Covid hit at the height of their popularity and activity. Conveyancing received its hit when it was already at its low point in the cycle.