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What will ‘better home moving’ look like? – Wareham

by: Paul Wareham, managing director at Countrywide Surveying Services
  • 27/11/2017
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What will ‘better home moving’ look like? – Wareham
Reform is in the air for the housing market. After years of occasional tinkering and the ill-fated attempt to launch Home Information Packs, this government is now wrestling hard with our ‘broken’ housing market.

After launching a consultation, ministers are expected to introduce legislation that, although a long way off becoming law, is already being second-guessed within the lending, conveyancing, estate agency and legal professions.

What will it contain? Most of the ideas are likely to focus on speeding up the process.

The longer the time between offer and exchange, the more likely it is that a buyer or seller will consider pulling out of the process.

The government says it wants to “rebuild trust” in the market and has revealed that approximately two-thirds of buyers and sellers say moving home causes them stress and worry.

Blockchain transactions

One of the interesting suggestions being discussed is to make homes ‘move ready’ by gathering all the relevant information about a property much earlier in the process.

And I believe surveying would be key to achieving that.

Technology is already able to prepare valuation data about a property in a matter of a minutes by using Automated Valuation Models (AVMs).

Also, blockchain – which uses the same technology as Bitcoin to link all the elements of a property purchase and sale chain together – is also gaining traction.

The first property in the UK – although a commercial not a residential one – has already been sold using blockchain.


Several initiatives

The Conveyancing Association says it is working on two initiatives to be submitted to the consultation process.

This includes digital home reports and enabling money to be sent the day before – rather than on the day – a sale completes.

And finally, the government is playing its part too. It wants to work with the Land Registry to enable property information such as detail of leases, restrictions, covenants and easements to be much easier to access.

With all this going on, it would appear the government’s timing with its consultation is spot on.

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