Has technology reshaped the UK housing market?

The fundamentals around buying a property and applying for a mortgage have remained more or less the same over the years. Although there have been tweaks to systems here and there, the industry has been quite resistant to change. However, technology has been seen as a game changer for many industries and there is potential for the housing market to further adopt technology to drive the market forward.

The impact of mobile friendly tools like estate agents launching downloadable apps and online case management portals like Purplebricks and the emergence of online conveyancers has opened up a world of new business with several customers relying on searching for properties or updating their conveyancing status at a touch of a button, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This paired with social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter has given customers another way to connect and engage with professionals within the industry in order to keep track of the latest news and insights.

Following the latest calls for greater transparency, accessibility and affordability within the property market and the Government proposing a ban on ‘gazumping’, it could mean a pivotal change for the industry is near. Introducing a ban would help tighten the conveyancing timeline as many have argued that bringing forward the point of a legally bound agreement would help buyers to avoid the financial and emotional turbulence that is associated with gazumping. With the introduction of new tools like online management portals for searches, surveys and conveyancing and virtual reality house viewings, it is possible for professionals and their customers to edit and add documents almost instantly. Tech also has the potential to fill and reduce time-consuming gaps in systems from viewing houses right through to the completion stage of buying or selling a property as well as reducing costs and engaging customers at every touch point.

We spoke to Harvey Patey-Ford, Development Underwriter at CLS about how data and tech go hand in hand to help drive developments forward.

“Using the right mix of data and technology has and will continue to be a vital tool for CLS. The combination of data analysis with traditional underwriting procedures has allowed us to deliver effective insurance solutions both to residential and high level corporate real estate transactions. The need for more detailed and accurate information, quicker turnarounds and smaller fees are crucial to stay and be seen as a market leader. Technology is constantly being used to collate and analyse property data with phenomenal speed and efficiency, allowing property professionals to use their expertise in a focused manner, both for traditional and large development portfolio transactions. With all this in mind, can anyone really afford to not embrace data driven solutions?”

Technology has and continues to revolutionise the way professionals address the concerns and expectations of their stakeholders. The utilisation of data software and mobile apps has allowed a greater level of visibility between businesses and their clients and therefore has improved the way day-to-day processes are managed.

There is no doubt that technology has created a faster, more on-demand service and will continue to filter through the property market addressing common problems and improving the products and services that are available.

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