Error prone settlements lessen despite speed after digitisation of property transactions

Error prone settlements lessen despite speed after digitisation of property transactions
Error prone settlements lessen despite speed after digitisation of property transactions

Australian property industry practitioners stand to benefit from substantial financial gains the faster the industry transitions to e-Conveyancing, according to a new Deloitte Access Economics report.

The independent analysis estimates the Australian conveyancing industry could receive benefit of $89 million per annum if a digitised lodgement and settlement process achieves 100 per cent uptake in 2021-22.

The report also analysed the experience of practitioners currently and found that the estimated benefit to practitioners in the 2016-17 financial year was $3 million, with 2 per cent of practitioner lodgements completed on the PEXA platform.

Costs are predicted to fall substantially as practitioner uptake increases and achieves e-conveyancing’s ‘network effect’.

According to the study, a major contributor to practitioners’ costs was duplication of work across paper and electronic processes. This occurs when one side of the transaction does not use the electronic system, meaning all parties must revert to paper processing.

John O’Mahony, Partner, Deloitte Access Economics, said the new report highlights the potential benefits to the property industry of embracing digital disruption:

“The report finds e-conveyancing has favourable outcomes for the conveyancing industry. However, it is clear that practitioners are currently unable to realise the full efficiencies of digital settlement under the dual paper and electronic process. Once all practitioners are using the system, the industry will be able to better capture the efficiency gains and resulting benefits.”

The report also revealed e-conveyancing has reduced the frequency of delayed settlements, easing a major source of stress for Australian consumers.

PEXA CEO Marcus Price said it’s good to finally see the financial benefits of e-Conveyancing flowing through.

“Consumers have had access to a fast, safe and efficient settlement process through PEXA for sometime now so it’s good to see the final phase – the financial benefits – begin to flow through,” Price said.

“Some of the benefits accessible today include near real-time access to the proceeds of sale for the vendor, or interest recognised on title immediately for the purchaser – a process that often takes weeks in the manual world.

"Importantly, consumers have greater certainty that their settlement will proceed as scheduled – a vast improvement on error-prone manual processes. The flow on financial benefits represent the next phase in the evolution of digital property settlements.”

PEXA is now doing close to 25 per cent of all practitioner land lodgement nationally - a sizable lift on the 2 per cent reported, indicating the speed at which the industry is transforming.

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