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UK real estate will undergo a digital transformation as the government launched a new group to oversee the adoption of emerging digital technologies in this sector. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The real estate sector in Britain is up for a major change as the UK government announced the formation of a new group that would make key information regarding the land and property market available online.

The group titled 'Digital Property Market Steering Group' or DPMSG brings major industry players under one roof as they share their vision regarding the land and property market

Addressing key issues of the UK real estate sector

According to a statement from HM Land Registry on August 1, the UK government is trying to address failed transactions and reduce the UK real estate market stress. With the timely digital availability of information about properties, transactions in the real estate market are expected to speed up.

Two decades ago the UK government introduced the Land Registration Act 2002 which was supposed to make e-conveyancing a reality, setting the path for these kinds of digital access to land and property market information. However, the process of making this available to British citizens isn't smooth despite some modernisation of the process. The government acknowledges that this isn't possible for a single institution and needs a collective effort involving key real estate players.

Digital transformation to make real estate transparent

Digital Property Market Steering Group (DPMSG), the newly formed coalition of government and industry players brings the best of the land and property market under one roof at this crucial juncture of the sector. The group aims to enhance cooperation in the real estate sector by ensuring that the market properly adopts digital technology.

While speeding up the digital process is its primary agenda, the group will also ensure that the system is consumer-friendly, secure and transparent. It will also take care of innovation and collaboration across the UK real estate sector.

The group has members from different areas that are essential parts of the land and property industry including property surveyors, estate agents, legal property professionals, lenders and conveyancers. Many of these areas urgently need digital adoption in order to reduce the stress of the market, reveals the press release.

The founding members of DPMSG, amongst many others, include:

  • The Conveyancing Association
  • The Council for Licensed Conveyancers
  • The Law Society
  • The Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • The Society of Licensed Conveyancers
  • Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX)
  • Building Societies Association
  • Council of Property Search Organisations
  • UK Finance and HM Land Registry

This comes at a time when the mortgage crisis in Britain is at an all-time high since 2008.

Towards an efficient UK real estate system

The vision of the DPMSG highlights its objective of making buying, leasing and selling land and property transparent and secure all the while retaining the business-friendly nature of the industry.

The plan is to make property transactions faster and simpler for consumers so that they don't feel stressed while buying or selling land. The group underlines that this will be possible only when the property market adopts emerging digital technologies and goes digital.

Speaking about the formation of the new group, the Law Society President Lubna Shuja highlighted how the chain of transactions can become more efficient with digitisation.

Features like digital deeds, registration and IDs will make information about properties easily available to the consumer and also give them a clear idea about the process, Shuja added.

This is crucial as built-to-rent homes are on the rise in Britain.

Nicky Heathcote from the Conveyancing Association said that this will boost confidence in the sector and attract investment as it makes everyone aware that government and industry professionals are working in tandem.

Areas of focus and outreach

DPMSG will be focusing on four critical areas like research and development needed to go fully digital, removing barriers and empowering members to drive change, encouraging and advocating transparency through data sharing initiatives, and public commitment towards a Digital Property Market in 2023.

The government and the industry players will come together under the DPMSG banner to hold an event in London for this purpose on September 12. In this event, 300 stalwarts from the land and property market will be sharing ideas on how to reduce the barriers.

The group is also hosting a podcast series called 'Property With A View' where Mike Harlow, the HM Land Registry's Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Customer and Strategy will talk to industry leaders regarding ways to address the challenges faced by the industry.