An industry group has been setup to look specifically at the creation of property logbooks that would provide more upfront information during a sale.
The committee has been launched by, and will work alongside, the Home Buying & Selling Group (HBSG), which is a collection of industry representatives working with the Government on reforms to the buying and selling process in the property market.
Groups such as NAEA Propertymark have previously suggested digital logbooks could help speed up transactions by storing relevant information that could be accessed early in the sales process.
Now a group of residential property logbook companies, who were already HBSG participants, have been tasked with establishing how digital records of property information could be used for home buying and selling, as well as any other residential property-related transaction.
The group is looking at data standards, security, and integration with the systems being built by other parts of the industry.
Its remit includes recommending a process of regulation for providers of logbooks.
The companies are Chimni, Etive, PIP and the National Deeds Depository.
Nigel Walley, managing director of Chimni, who is chairing the group, said:
“Property records are increasingly being digitised which is a great opportunity to improve access and sharing of information.
“However, data is still highly fragmented and unevenly distributed, with no standardised way of sharing electronically or ensuring continuity of data between property transactions.
“We believe residential logbooks can deliver this.”
The HBSG has been working to shorten transaction times, and improve transparency in residential property.
They view logbooks as a key component.
Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the Conveyancing Association and a senior HSBG members, said:
“We know that instructing a property lawyer on listing and providing all information upfront results in average transaction times of just 6-8 weeks.
“Making property logbooks the norm will make it incredibly straight forward for home owners to collate and update information during their ownership.”
The initiative comes as unique property reference numbers are due to become publicly available from next month.
This will give each home a digital identity that some hope could be used for logbooks or separate work on property passports.