Online settlements to tackle stress, delays in Australia’s $5.7 trillion residential property market
Australia’s biggest asset class, the $6.7 trillion mum and dad residential property market, is being held back by error-prone settlement practices, causing 1 in 3 consumers unnecessary stress, cost and delay.
The findings, which were released today at a property industry forum in Melbourne, are from PwC’s Digital Property Report, based on research commissioned by Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA).
The report revealed that one in three consumers find the process of property settlement stressful, with one in five suffering long delays – of up to a year in one case.
PEXA is a world-first online platform for property transactions. It evolved from a 2010 Council of Australian Government (COAG) initiative in collaboration with the four major banks to deliver a national e-conveyancing solution and overhaul the error-prone paper-based system which has remained largely unchanged since the 1850s.
PEXA CEO, Marcus Price, said these finding demonstrate why it is time to bring property transactions into the digital economy and unlock the industry in the same way the ASX did for share transactions more than two decades ago.
“We live in a digital era where consumers are already searching to buy properties online. So it’s not good enough that many Australian consumers are bearing the emotional and financial toll that comes with buying and selling homes because the final steps of conveyancing fail in some way,” he said.
“Property transfer affects everyone buying or selling a home. Fast, safe and efficient transactions will occur with state governments, lenders and property professionals collaborating to drive change.
“Australia-wide the industry must go online; it’s an inevitable progression to bring buyers and sellers the same technology advances that transformed internet banking and buying and selling goods,” he said.
PEXA has also developed the web-based app, SettleMe, which allows buyers and sellers to track their property settlement online and in real time. It is a real time settlement tracking tool.
Lawyers and Conveyancers who deal with property exchange have had to bear the burden of an outdated model. Mrs Santina Taranto, National President, Australian Institute of Conveyancers (AIC), said the AIC’s members welcomed the digital reform being led by PEXA.
“We’re excited to be able to align with the rest of the Australian economy by making this long over-due digital shift. The new process will allow conveyancers to deliver a better service to their clients, while also improving their own business efficiencies,” she said.
PEXA is currently live in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia.