Innovative property platform passes $20bn milestone

Paper property exchanges are fast becoming a thing of the past after more than $20 billion in value has been transacted through Property Exchange Australia (PEXA).

Momentum is building to give pen and paper property exchange the flick with 83 banks and credit unions and more than 2,600 legal and conveyancing practices signed to the e-conveyancing network.

PEXA CEO Marcus Price said the strong progress is testament to the work by land registries, financial institutions and legal and conveyancing peak bodies to move the industry towards a 100 per cent digital future.

“It’s extraordinary to reflect on the past few years and the breadth of industry-led change we’ve witnessed to get to this point,” Mr Price said.

“From the introduction of legislation to enable property transactions to be completed electronically through to updates to the Contract of Sale, the dawn of digital verification of identity options and the launch of e-contracts, the industry has truly come together in support of a digital future”.

PEXA was established in 2010 to fulfil an agenda item of the Council of Australian Governments to deliver a national e-conveyancing solution to the Australian property industry. All funds settle through the Reserve Bank of Australia. 

Early last month, PEXA welcomed its fifth state — South Australia — to the e-Conveyancing network with nearly half of all property lawyers and conveyancers in that state completing the registration process in advance of the launch.

South Australia’s registrar general Brenton Pike said property transactions are one of the last major financial dealings to be disrupted by technology.

“Decades ago share trading and internet banking went online. Even the next national census is going digital. Now it’s the property market’s turn”.

Prior to rolling out its services across NSW in late 2014, PEXA surveyed its users and found that 20 per cent of settlements do not occur when promised.

“When we survey a customer, that is their number one gripe,” PEXA's Mr Price said. “That and lack of transparency,” he said.

“Both of those will be fixed by PEXA. There will not be failures in settlement dates. We pre-check all the documents for lodgement way before we get the settlement time, so the likelihood of failure will drop dramatically.

“Where brokers will really benefit is they will get certainty and transparency in terms of settlement times,” he said. “That will affect the customer.”

From 1 August, in Victoria and Western Australia, where the mortgagee is an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI), all standalone discharges and mortgages governed by the National Credit Code must be lodged electronically.

Last year PEXA was named one of BRW's 50 Most Innovative Companies and won two awards for Best Overall Innovation and Best Model Innovation.

[Related: PEXA recognised for innovative conveyancing]

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