2022 Annual Industry Leaders Forum: QLS
To bring you the best insights into the Conveyancing industry in 2023 we’ve gathered some of the industry’s most knowledgeable leaders. The Annual Industry Leaders Forum, is an annual series of interviews with leaders from governing bodies like Queensland Law Society (QLS) and leading tech from across the industry.
Participating this year is: Philip Joyce, CEO, Sympli; Anna Alexander, CEO, AICVIC; Chris Tyler, CEO, AICNSW; Matt Dunn, General Manager – Advocacy, Guidance and Governance, Queensland Law Society; Bianca Bowron-Cuthill, General Manager, Smokeball Australia; Renee Schembri, Service Coordinator, Diamond Property Inspections; and our own Taylah Allen, CEO, triSearch.
In this week’s Leaders Forum, we interview QLS’ Matt Dunn. He reflects on a market disrupted by intense rain events and a Federal election.
He added that 2023 will be a year the industry needs to be ready for change, with updated systems, processes and legislation coming.
When talking to triSearch PR and Communications Executive, Daniel Hughes, he said:
Q. What were the main highlights and challenges of 2022?
Matt Dunn: The highlights of QLS for 2022 were also some of the main challenges. Initially in Queensland and Northern New South Wales we saw intense rain events that left a trail of devastation to property and lives.
The images of flood affected communities were heart-breaking and set off a train of insurance and legal consequences that remain unresolved for many.
The Federal election had the usual pausing effect on markets while everyone awaited the outcome and this was unfortunately coupled with a potentially overdue program of interest rate rises from the Reserve Bank of Australia to combat unchecked inflation.
The floods and these events seemed to be a kind of circuit breaker to the extreme property optimism of 2021.
Q. What will be the immediate focus for conveyancers in 2023?
MD: The key focus for Queensland conveyancing in 2023 will be meeting change in systems, processes and legislation within the context of rising interest rates, high inflation and a cooling market.
The first challenge of 2023 will be the beginning of the eConveyancing mandate from 20 February 2023 for many types of property settlements and also property lawyers coming to understand the exemptions to know when paper settlements will be required.
Law firms will need to maintain the ability to conduct paper settlements for transactions out of scope for the eConveyancing mandate.
Following the mandate, we expect Government to pursue a significant reform agenda in property law with changes including the new Property Law Act, a vendor disclosure regime, land tax changes to commence on 30 June 2023 to include the value of interstate properties and also reforms to body corporate governance.
Getting across the changes and their commencement will be a priority issues for property lawyers in 2023.
Q. What trends do you predict for the conveyancing industry in the next 12 months?
MD: Firms involved in property law in Queensland will become familiar with change management as they prepare for each wave of coming reforms, change their systems, monitor the implementation and then refine processes with the learnings.
In the broader property market, we may see price stagnation or contraction as more distressed sales come to be offered. Whether sales volumes decline may depend on the policies financiers adopt with respect to deposit requirements and capital adequacy.
A further trend for 2023 will be a continued focus on rental availability and affordability which is likely to highlight the significant and systemic underinvestment in social housing.
Q. What is the most important advice you have for conveyancers for consideration in 2022?
MD: It is the same as last year. Keep good and experienced staff. It is imperative that law firms retain good staff who have accumulated experience and knowledge to be able to deal with the coming reforms successfully. Economies are cyclical but good people are not.
Read what other trends the leaders outlined in the 2022 Annual Leaders Forum by downloading your free The Conveyancing Handbook: A Guide to Success in 2023 now.