An Australian PropTech platform called PEXA aims to break into the UK property industry this year, claiming to improve transaction processes.
PEXA claims to have facilitated over 11m property transactions by streamlining processes between mortgage lenders and conveyancers.
PEXA will first focus on the remortgage process in England and Wales, and aims to launch its remortgage platform this coming autumn. It promises “fast, frictionless remortgaging that will vastly reduce the time it takes to remortgage, improving consumer outcomes.”
The remortgaging process typically takes six to eight weeks in the UK, and slowed to as long as 12 weeks as a result of Covid-19 and the subsequent temporary changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax.
PEXA aims to significantly shorten this period, making remortgaging a simpler, more appealing avenue for consumers to save costs. It claims that in Australia, remortgaging times have dropped from an average of 42 to 15 days, with some remortgages even completing in one day.
A group of UK mortgage lenders is currently undertaking product testing as part of its platform’s integration with the Bank of England’s systems. PEXA is also working closely with HM Land Registry, as well as government departments, regulators and industry trade bodies as it refines its proposition.
James Bawa, the chief executive of PEXA UK, says: “The UK’s 150-year-old conveyancing system is on a journey to digitise. We know that by replacing outdated and manual processes with a simple online exchange platform, we can significantly help boost both market capacity and efficiency, and take a lot of stress out of consumers’ lives.
“Our intention is to provide greater certainty for consumers, and reduce costs and administration for conveyancers and lenders alike.
“PEXA is the only company in the world to successfully and securely transition this important element within the housing sector to digital, as evidenced by its experience and growth in Australia.”
The platform has recruited political weight to back its entry into the UK.
Lord Gerry Grimstone, minister for investment at the Department for International Trade and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, comments: “With the launch of their platform, British homeowners can expect to save time and money on the remortgage process. We welcome their initial investment into the UK creating 50 jobs by the end of 2022 and look forward to supporting PEXA’s continued growth in the UK.”
And the British High Commissioner to Australia, Vicki Treadell, adds: “My team in Australia have developed a strong relationship with the PEXA team on their UK journey and I enjoyed meeting PEXA myself on a recent visit to Melbourne where we discussed their UK plans. My team and I look forward to supporting more fantastic Australian companies to expand into the UK in the coming months, not least following the signing of our Free Trade Agreement.”