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.