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Western Australia

WA’s $563 billion residential property market enters the digital economy

WA’s $563 billion residential property market enters the digital economy

Momentum is building in the west to bring property settlements into the digital economy with other online consumer transactions including internet banking and share trading.

According to Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), about 150 local firms have registered to use its electronic exchange just weeks after the Western Australian Lands Minister, Terry Redman, announced that financial institutions and settlement agents can now settle property online.

PEXA’s online digital platform has been designed to remove the old, manual way of settling property transactions. The platform will bring together banks, legal practitioners, settlement agents, the Office of State Revenue and the Land Registry, reforming the $563 billion Western Australia residential property market.

Marcus Price, PEXA CEO said: “The west’s early adopter property practitioners have invested in PEXA now that the technology is in place. So it’s time to finally settle properties online to relieve the significant consumer stress caused by relying on an outdated process.”

His sentiments are echoed by REIWA’s President David Airey who said: “Unfortunately many settlements usually have some delay. And when they go wrong it’s often because of documentation. PEXA will certainly make the process more efficient.” 

Now deployed in Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, PEXA has signed up nearly 30 financial institutions comprising banks, credit unions and mutual savings entities. 

“We encourage West Australian firms to cut red tape by taking transactions online. Some of the early adopters will choose to go digital to innovate their businesses and stand out from competitors. We also appreciate this is a significant change and that some practitioners will need PEXA assistance and training before making the switch,” added Marcus Price.

To assist industry to better harness the efficiencies that come from taking transactions online, PEXA is hosting an event for up to 300 guests on Thursday evening, 23 July.

Industry experts and speakers will share e-conveyancing insights. Panelists include Jean Villani, Registrar of Titles, Landgate, Dion Dosualdo, CEO, Australian Institute of Conveyancers WA and Steve Braithwaite, General Manager, Digital Operations & Innovation, Commonwealth Bank.

Australia-wide, PEXA has grown tenfold in the 12 months to the end of June 2015, a compound monthly growth rate of 25 per cent. The big driver has been refinancing. PEXA is now doing 10 to 15 per cent of major bank refinances.

PEXA has also developed a settlement tracking tool for legal and conveyancing firms’ clients. Called SettleMe, the app was built to directly address consumer stress as captured in the PwC Digital Property Report revealing that one in three buyers and sellers find the process of property settlement stressful, with one in five suffering long delays.

Formed in 2010 from a Coalition of Australian Governments’ reform to bring Australia a seamless economy, PEXA’s shareholders comprise four state governments, major Australian banks, Macquarie Capital, Little Group and Link Group.

Scale of the West Australian property industry1

  • Property industry value in W.A., $563 billion
  • Number of properties in W.A., 1,010,600

PEXA benefits for property purchasers and real estate agents

  • Greater efficiencies. Buyers no longer need to purchase bank cheques. This alleviates a last minute rush to arrange cheques and settlement delays when printed cheques contain errors.
  • Fast access to cleared funds as monies settle through the Reserve Bank of Australia. In many cases funds may be available within an hour. Land registry change in ownership may be recorded within minutes of settlement – a process that can sometimes take weeks in the paper world.
  • Greater certainty that settlement will succeed. Paper-based settlements can frequently fail because of a simple documentation error.
  • Real estate agents may refer customers to a PEXA affiliated lawyer or settlement agent. They can also choose to have their commission paid directly from settlement funds as a direct disbursement. Cleared funds may land in their account on settlement day. Alternatively, agents can continue to subtract commissions from the purchaser’s deposit as currently occurs.

More information can be found at a www.pexa.com.au For media enquiries and to arrange interviews with PEXA CEO, Marcus Price contact:
Kerrina Lawrence, PEXA Director, Media and Corporate Affairs
0434 198 427 | kerrina.lawrence@pexa.com.au

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