Levelling Up Select Committee inquiry

Our chair, Maria Harris, gave evidence on improving the homebuying and selling process

Alongside Kate Faulkner from Home Buying & Selling Council and Beth Rudolf from the Conveyancing Association, Maria gave evidence on how little progress has been made on improving the homebuying experience since the previous inquiry in 2017.

Despite government commitments in 2018 to deliver open data on key property information including titles, deeds, searches, and planning, we continue to see a homebuying process and industry driven by documents and forms based thinking.

OPDA called for the process to be digitised from back to front with legislation to deliver digital property packs on all transactions and the creation of a property data trust framework. Maria explained that the lack of open data standards, lack of common government and industry models for provenance of data, or an agreed way to make data shareable with trust is holding back the reform that customers desperately need.

When asked about the use of fax machines in buying and selling property, Maria Harris answered: “We worry from a security perspective that we don’t have data standards or technology standards but also about the cyber and security controls of our systems. We have people still working on Excel spreadsheets. Someone can set up an estate agent with nothing more than a website. We absolutely have to raise those standards across our industry and ditch fax machines”

You can watch the full session on Parliament TV




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