Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director of Search Acumen, comments on the announcement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and suggests that government must ride a “growing wave of proptech ambition, action and innovation”:
“Sajid Javid’s objectives add up to far more than just a spring clean-up of the homebuying experience. The case for change is driven by familiar frustrations, but importantly, there is new and exciting potential emerging from proptech initiatives that can move a new-look customer experience from theory to reality.
“To deliver its vision, it is vital that government rides the growing wave of proptech ambition, action and innovation to make things easier, faster and more transparent for homebuyers and sellers. Land Registry has already fired the starting gun on a visionary project to centralise and digitise the Local Land Charges (LLC) register, and only last week the UK’s first digital mortgage deed was signed.
“The future vision is ambitious, and accessing local authority searches within 10 days won’t be possible overnight when this process can currently take more than 40 days. However, this is one area where innovation can take us to an even better place. If 10 days is possible in the foreseeable future, why not 10 minutes or 10 seconds ultimately?
“Advancing technology and the proliferation of data are constantly pushing back the boundaries of the possible. It’s now up to public and private sector to combine forces and deliver credible change with tangible benefits. Transparent referral fees are another welcome promise, and this means ensuring comprehensive disclosures that bring real clarity across the board – not just to conveyancer referrals.
“From an end-user’s point of view, the property industry is still playing catch-up compared with many other aspects of daily life, which have been more quickly augmented and enhanced by technology. The good news is that, with grassroots action aligning with government ambition, there is no going back on the commitment to offer homebuyers more.”