Digital revolution urged for in the property sector

Housing Minister Esther McVey is announcing governmental plans to release data held by local bodies to enable the UK PropTech sector to thrive.

Seeking to ‘bring about a digital revolution in the property sector’, McVey is announcing measures to open up Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) data for the first time in a transparency drive and enable PropTechs to obtain things like energy performance certificates and the square footage information of properties. This is in addition to introducing a national index of all brownfield data, simplifying and improving the quality of Brownfield Land Registers to help developers to find brownfield land to build on.

New technologies could allow communities to see models and interactive maps of planned development rather than one or two pictures, as well as comment on planning applications online, on phones and on the go (in the same way that they use online banking services).

McVey said: “We’ve had revolutions in the way that financial services, online banking and transport are provided, turning once unimaginable possibilities into everyday realities. Now it’s the turn of the UK property market. Whatever homebuyers prioritise, whether it’s the quality of local schools, the probability of getting a seat on a train, or having easy access to leisure facilities, this technology could transform the way we find and purchase homes.

“And new technology will link builders to brownfield sites more easily, enhance how developers engage with local communities, help builders deliver new homes and modernise the way we buy and sell land and houses, cutting the time it takes to get housing from the drawing board to families getting the keys. The UK property sector is on the cusp of a digital revolution. It’s time to harness new technology to unlock land and unleash the potential of housebuilders in all parts of the country and to revolutionise the way in which we buy homes.”