A coalition of government and industry partners – the Digital Property Market Steering Group (DPMSG) – representing a coming together of key industry partners under a shared vision has been formed to drive digital transformation in the land and property market.
The coalition takes the view that if information about properties was available immediately to all concerned and everything was handled digitally, it could speed up the property market and reduce stress and the risk of failed transactions.
The Land Registration Act 2002 was introduced with the hope that ‘e-conveyancing’, which the act enabled in law, would deliver these kinds of benefits. But the DPMSG believes that while there has been some progress since then, the job of modernising the process has proved more challenging than envisaged and one that no single institution can achieve on its own.
The group’s purpose therefore is to help the property market work better for all by accelerating the adoption of digital technology, while ensuring it is transparent, secure and consumer friendly, through collaboration and innovation across the sector.
DPMSG has representation from key areas of the sector where there is likely to be the greatest potential for accelerated digital adoption. This includes legal property professionals, surveyors, conveyancers, lenders and estate agents.
DPMSG founding members
- Law Society
- Conveyancing Association (CA)
- Council for Licensed Conveyancers
- The Society of Licensed Conveyancers
- Solicitors Regulation Authority
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX)
- CILEx Regulation
- Council of Property Search Organisations
- Building Societies Association
- UK Finance
- HM Land Registry
The DMPSG’s vision is for everyone involved in buying, leasing and selling land and property to experience a secure and modern market that is transparent, customer-friendly and business-friendly at all stages.
Through collaboration, innovation and a focus on emerging digital technologies we will build on existing progress across the home buying and selling system to get a better result for the customer: simpler, faster, more certain and less stressful.
Lubna Shuja, President of the Law Society of England and Wales said:
The Law Society is committed to improving the home-buying experience for consumers and others involved in the conveyancing process. Whilst we know that chains of transactions can lengthen timescales, involving sellers’ solicitors at an early stage would make the process smoother and more efficient.
Although there is no silver bullet, digitisation will be transformative in this work, especially in relation to ID, digital deeds, digital registration, and providing important information to consumers about both the process and the property at an early stage.
We recognise that the combined efforts of the whole sector – regulators, professional and trade bodies, and government – are needed to achieve this. This new group provides a forum for collaboration and achieving change, while enabling individual members to progress their own work in a co-ordinated way.
Nicky Heathcote, Non-Executive Chair at the Conveyancing Association, said:
At the CA, we want to boost confidence and investment in the digitisation of the property market by demonstrating how Government and industry regulators, professional and trade bodies are aligned and committed to working together to enable and accelerate positive change.
There are four DPMSG working groups that will focus on:
- Public commitment: Joint conference on Digital Property Market in 2023
- Removing barriers and empower members to drive change: Upfront information
- Research and Development: Embracing digital identity
- Increasing transparency: Advocating for data initiatives – exploring interoperability
DPMSG will hold a joint Government and industry launch event with the theme Digital Property Market in London on 12 September 2023. It will bring together leaders and influencers from across the sector to set a clear direction for a secure and modern land and property market, explore the barriers to change and demonstrate joint leadership and commitment among participants to taking forward this programme of transformation.
Around 300 invited guests will attend from across the property market sectors including estate agents, surveyors, conveyancers, financial, software providers, data providers, panel managers, Proptech and other groups key to driving change. HM Land Registry, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and Geospatial Commission officials will also attend. Those participating will share insights on social media using #DigitalPropertyMarket.
DPMSG will also soon launch a new podcast series – Property with a View – hosted by Mike Harlow, HM Land Registry’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Customer and Strategy. Mike will speak with leaders across the sector as a way of exploring what changes need to happen and how the market can work together to achieve them. The programme of content will feature leaders from all corners of the industry.