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Housing minister calls for a digital revolution in the property sector

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Housing minister Esther McVey has announced plans for a new data and technology drive, to aid homebuilders and communities throughout the UK. McVey said the proposals will help small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) homebuilders to find build sites.

The Housing Minister held talks with several proptech firms which are helping homebuilders and communities, to kick-start the government’s new technology drive.

The proposals apply predominantly to the new-build sector. Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) will be opened so that information about the buying process is more transparent.

Describing CPOs as a “valuable tool” for enabling development, McVey hopes this will enable builders to obtain information on energy performance and the square footage information of properties.

Additionally, a national index of all brownfield data will be introduced, helping developers and builders to find brownfield land for development.

The Government has not revealed full details on implementing the proposals but propose that new technologies could also be introduced to help prospective homebuyers gauge information such as commute times. New technologies could help enable communities to comment on planning applications online and see models and interactive maps of planned development.

Esther McVey said: “This technology could transform the way we find and purchase homes.”

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark said: “We support anything that brings additional land into the planning system and provides extra homes to consumers in a market that is struggling for stock. We look forward to seeing the outcome of the Minister and her team’s efforts to release more of the local data.”

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