A recent study undertaken by the University of Melbourne found that while countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom reported significant declines in property settlements during COVID-19 lockdowns, Australia’s market remained fully operational. The report confirmed it was the availability of electronic conveyancing helped keep the country’s $7.1trillion1 residential property market online.
The research noted that during May and August this year, the height of the national outbreak, more than $230 billion2 worth of property settlement value was processed on Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), the country’s leading electronic conveyancing platform.
While the pandemic disrupted many industries and the economy more broadly, this digitisation of Australia’s property industry has provided key resilience to the sector, ensuring that homebuyers and sellers retain access to the critical service offered by their lawyer or conveyancer.
A world first, PEXA provides a secure platform for Australian banks, credit unions and mutuals, as well as legal and conveyancing firms, to complete property transactions safely and efficiently. This provides a fast, secure, more efficient and more transparent process, delivering Australians a vastly superior property settlement experience to the old paper-based process.
PEXA recently celebrated 10 years in operation and was named as one of Australia’s most innovative technology companies3. Today, more than 75 per cent of all property transfer settlements in Australia are handled digitally –among the highest of any country in the world –and the figure continues to grow as the remaining States and Territories complete their transition. The University of Melbourne study highlights that taxpayers have also been winners as a result of PEXA’s growth story–with the privatisation of PEXA delivering net benefits of approximately $400 million from gains on investment to state governments. The availability of electronic conveyancing had also contributed to the conditions for the privatisation of four land registries and the significant value generated4.
As identified in PEXA’s first Property and Mortgage Insights report, Australia’s residential property demonstrated resilience in 2020, with property settlements tracking ahead of 2019 levels5.
Glenn King, PEXA CEO said, “We are honoured to have played a part in the digital evolution of the industry, bringing a safe, efficient, reliable and more certain property settlement experience for our 9,000+ members and the 20,000 Australian homebuyers and sellers they represent, who settle their property each week on our platform. PEXA was born of innovation, and we will continue to enhance our offering and service for the Australian property market for the next 10 years and beyond. Australia can proudly boast a world-leading property settlement process –and we’re extremely proud to be its custodians.”
1 Corelogic Monthly Chart Pack, October 2020
2 Research Findings: Digital Transformation in Australian Property Industry, Dr Niharika Garud and Professor Daniel Samson, Department of Management & Marketing, Faculty of Business andEconomics, The University of Melbourne
3 The 10 most innovative technology companies, The Australian Financial Review, M. Eggleton, 9 October 2020.
4 ResearchFindings: Digital Transformation in Australian Property Industry, Dr Niharika Garud and Professor Daniel Samson, Department of Management & Marketing, Faculty of Business andEconomics, The University of Melbourne
5 PEXA Property and Mortgage Insights, Year to Sept 2020