Housing minister calls for proptech revolution to let buyers see if they could get a seat on the train

Housing minister Esther McVey has called for a digital revolution in the property sector.

Much of what she said applies to the new-build sector – in particular to Compulsory Purchase Orders and the opening up of brownfield data.

In a vaguely worded announcement, she also spoke of a transparency drive enabling proptech firms to obtain “things like” Energy Performance Certificates and the square footage of properties.

McVey also said that new technologies could allow prospective home buyers to use commute time calculators – and see whether they could get a seat on the train.

She 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 home buyers 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.”

She said that new technologies could allow communities to see models and interactive maps of planned development rather than just pictures; and comment on planning applications online and on phones.

She said that proptech could also allow prospective home buyers to explore home buying options, including gradual home ownership; and receive step by step assistance to help them navigate the home buying process.

Describing Compulsory Purchase Orders as a “valuable tool” for enabling development, she said the Ministry of Housing would be opening up data to make “this important process more transparent”.

A national database of brownfield sites to help developers and local councils find housing sites will also be made available.

McVey said: “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 house builders in all parts of the country and to revolutionise the way in which we buy homes.”

McVey was speaking at a round table, reported the Ministry of Housing, which may have been unaware that “things like” EPCs are available to home hunters in things called property particulars.

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  1. Will2

    More bull and no investment by another short term housing minister

  2. AgencyInsider

    McVey comes across as what was once (in pre-PC times) known as something of an ‘autocutie’. She is out of her depth as a minister.

  3. GeorgeOrwell

    It’s official – Politicians have zero credibility
    Just a series of meaningless announcements
    This Policy will not arrive on Platform 5
    If Politicians were paid on performance & delivery, they would be penny less & unemployable – except for a very few

  4. WiltsAgent

    Clueless. Probability of getting a seat on a train, zero in rush hour in my experience. You don’t need proptech to know that.

    Why not cut stamp duty and stop punishing people for buying a home.

    As for unleashing the potential of housebuilders you have already done that with Help to Buy and completely distorted the market.

  5. PeeBee

    “She said that proptech could also allow prospective home buyers to explore home buying options, including gradual home ownership…”

    I and countless others before and after me explored – and continue to explore, “gradual home ownership”.

    It’s called a mortgage.  I didn’t need proptech to find one.

    Nor would it have done anything to pay the monthly installments for the best part of three decades.

  6. priestp@rentchief.co.uk

    OK so they want proptech companies to work out if the client of their estate agents/developers can get a seat on transport that is owned and operated by someone else and always in the news for breaking down due to leaves on the track??

    Our job is to build, sell and help move clients into their homes… yet we are hinged on out-dated housing policies, government personnel that are stretched to breaking point and a transport infrastructure that has been at breaking point for 20+ years..

    Yes Proptech will of course help the market, but as every Mom has told them, “dont throw stones if you live in glass houses” and there are lots of government based issues that underpin the industry, councils from planning to transport to property are area’s that need fixing first.


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