“It’s bizarre to think the job of Housing Secretary has become such a fleeting, high-turnover role when most people spend a big chunk of their youth stretching for the funds to get onto the property ladder and then three decades or more paying their mortgage.
“At 37 years of age, Simon Clarke isn’t much older than today’s average first-time buyer, but he will inherit a raft of housing market reviews from previous administrations to point him directly towards the issues holding back the property market.
“Given years of big-picture thinking and grand policy promises, it’s high time to move on from consultations to construction if we want to tackle the affordability crisis, as well as investing more in local, regional and national infrastructure to better connect communities. To deliver a lasting impact, housing policy also needs to throw every ounce of its weight behind bytes as well as bricks and accelerate the digitisation of the property market.
“Search Acumen research shows conveyancing firms alone could already cut property due diligence time by five hours through greater digitisation. Across the residential property sector, this could save conveyancers a combined 8 million hours per year using technology available today. It is essential that we make the UK’s conveyancing sector more efficient, helping to modernise our archaic property transaction process and future-proof it ready for tomorrow’s market challenges.
“HM Land Registry’s new 2022+ strategy is barely week old, but every week that goes by brings more needless delays and frustrations for homebuyers, property investors and the legal profession which is expected to deliver 21st century results with 20th century technology and processes. The enduring ambition to create a world-leading digital property market is very welcome, but – like many people’s ambition to own their own home – it needs a strong commitment and years of focused effort to make it a reality.”