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Open letter urges Housing Secretary to help speed-up the property market

A coalition of businesses from across the property industry have united to call on the Government to do more to speed-up the home buying and selling process. 

In an open letter to Housing Secretary Michael Gove, brands including Landmark Information Group, Mortgage Advice Bureau, L&C Mortgages, Yopa, Simplify, O’Neill Patient, Enact, and TwentyCi, have called for a “Time to Buy” strategy to be established that will set out a plan for the future of the market and support businesses to take up technology and innovative solutions.  

The letter warns that transactions have been getting slower and less responsive, with the process now taking 133 days - almost 80% longer than in 2007.


The group said the strategy would aim to work alongside the existing Home Buying and Selling Group and would support local authorities to digitise the data that movers and professionals rely on, set expectations on when information should be provided and standardise documents and the process for sharing information to avoid delays.

Simon Brown, chief executive of the Landmark Information Group said: “The UK’s home-moving process suffers from systemic challenges, with duplication and inefficiencies leading to delays for home-movers.

“This is both stressful and frustrating for home-movers, and enormously wasteful for property professionals. We want to create a more efficient and better-connected market, where everyone benefits from shared data and insights. To achieve this ambition, we're bringing the industry together to call on Government to drive forward reform to make the home-moving process work better for everyone.” 

Verona Frankish, chief executive of Yopa, added: "The Time to Buy strategy is vital for the continued health of the property market, and the needs of home movers all over the UK so that transactions can take place in a reasonable time frame and with certainty." 

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    It’s not enough to write a letter to the government and ask them to fix the industry's problems (although every little helps); the solution to what these companies are asking for is already being built by the Home Buying and Selling Group in the form of the Property Data Trust Framework. This framework enables standardised and trust-based data sharing across the property industry; it’s open-source and available for anyone to adopt.

    The challenge is and always will be industry adoption, and maybe the government can help there by enforcing everyone to embrace the change being asked for, but I feel these companies should focus their efforts on taking a seat at the table, start to use and contribute to the development of the standardised and open framework that already exists.

    The path to "a more efficient and better-connected market, where everyone benefits from shared data and insights." that Simon has asked for has been charted by the Home Buying and Selling Group; it just needs innovators and established players in the industry to adopt it.


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