OPDA makes free data tools available across property industry

The Open Property Data Association (OPDA) has released the latest version of its framework for property data standards to make free and shareable data tools available across the property industry. The new version aims to help accelerate the digitisation of the property market, making transactions easier and more efficient for homebuyers and property industry professionals.

Just 1% of property data is currently digital. But OPDA wants to see all property data sources and documents transferred to a digital format and made shareable through open data standards.

The Property Data Trust Framework (PDTF) is a standardised set of data and governance principles. The latest version is now available to the entire property industry and their software providers, from estate agents, through to lawyers, lenders and brokers, without any restrictive, proprietary licences.

The latest version of the toolkit, or schema, comes after several months of collaborative effort from contributors across the industry. It has benefitted from lessons identified at a previous stage based on a large number of real transactions. This means that anyone adopting the standards can be confident that they will work in the real world. Importantly, the framework traces where each item of data is from so that users can verify and evidence the data sources.

The new version of the framework is fully compliant with the National Trading Standards (NTS) Material Information parts A, B and C which were introduced late last year. It also supports mapping to the various forms that the industry currently relies on including Buying and Selling Property Information, Law Society Transaction Forms, and the Property Information Questionnaire. It allows for mapping across the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Data Schema forms.

The framework has also been extended to enable the material information data to be mapped into the newly updated version of the Rightmove Automated Data Feed. This means it will become much easier to verify that property listings are compliant with the Trading Standards requirements and to share the data with Customer Relationships Management systems, portals, and to instruct the seller’s conveyancer at point of listing.

OPDA is aiming for open data to be adopted as widely as possible and would encourage all estate agent, mortgage, and conveyancing software providers to start implementing the toolkit in their own platforms and API services. Future extensions of the framework will include upgraded tools for use in mortgage advice, buyers’ conveyancing, and lending use cases.

Ed Molyneux, CTO of Moverly, an OPDA member, said: “Open data standards are fundamental to a successful transition to digital property transactions. Now that National Trading Standards Parts B and C have been published, listing properties becomes significantly easier using digital property data. Most transactions will get underway digitally by default. Ensuring this data is properly provenanced so it can be safely re-used is critical, and that’s where the framework really shines.”

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