A consortium has been formed that aims to speed up the home buying and selling process and improve transparency via mobile banking.
It is being hailed as a game changer for the entire industry – and for its home buying and selling customers.
Consumers will be able to apply for and gain approval of their mortgage applications and monitor the entire transaction from offer through to completion via an app.
A trial earlier this year – the UK’s first test sale of a home using blockchain, or ‘distributed ledger technology’ – suggested that the entire process could be reduced from three months to less than three weeks.
The technology used during that test, now being developed by a company called Coadjute, is being used in the initiative which aims to create a new digital “home buying journey”.
The consortium includes NatWest, estate agency software provider Dezrez, and other industry names including Search Acumen, Redbrick Solutions, eTech, Conveyancing Data Services and LMS.
The enormity of the project is underlined by the fact that Coadjute says it has already linked up with 1,000 estate agents.
John Reynolds, CEO and founder of Coadjute, said: “Customer adoption will be driven by businesses coming together to provide a joined-up service.
“Even at this stage, we have connected up 12% of the mortgages market, 1,000 estate agency brands, 4,000 conveyancers, and 80% of all property valuation instructions.
“With a pipeline of leading platform providers signed up and ready to on-board, we will have a significant percentage of the property industry on the platform when it goes live.
“We envisage a time when Coadjute-enabled businesses will be the go-to choice for all customers to get a mortgage and move home in one simple, fast and secure digital journey.”
Coadjute will work with NatWest to design an end-to-end home buying journey for their customers, by connecting each software provider’s platform to build a home buying network.
The ‘distributed ledger technology’ means that the information required to secure a mortgage and finalise an offer to buy can be shared between each party on the network.
Specifically, with NatWest’s key involvement, consumers will be able to apply for mortgages with the bank, have them approved and keep tabs on the entire transaction from offer through to completion via a companion app.
Dan Salmons, director of mortgage innovation at NatWest, said: “We know that the complexity of conveyancing is a key pain point for many.
“The Coadjute consortium has brought all the parties involved together to create a single mobile app, and used distributed ledger technology to make the customer journey safe and seamless.
“We believe the approach has the potential to be a real game changer, not just for our customers but for the entire property market.”
Richard Price, managing director of Dezrez, said: “One of the biggest stresses in the home buying process is a lack of transparency for consumers – everyone hates not knowing what is going on.
“Whilst estate agents, solicitors, surveyors and banks are working hard in the background, the consumer is unaware of progress.
“The Rezi platform was built to break down these barriers by utilising modern technology to connect disparate software systems.
“We are excited to be part of this innovative group of companies with one aim – to create an end-to-end customer journey.
“As a result, estate agents will be able to continue to provide their customers with valuable information and benefit from a speedier sales process.”
The first milestone for the project is due next year, with the launch of a ‘minimum viable product’.