Exciting times are ahead for buyers and seller of real property and for the people that work in the Australian property industry. E-Conveyancing has finally become a reality and is going to revolutionise the way that settlements are conducted.
National Electronic Conveyancing has been in the pipeline in Australia for a number of years. However, it did not actually gain momentum until 2008 when it was placed on the agenda of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). Then in 2010 the National e-Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL) was established with the objective of delivering to the Australian property industry a national electronic conveyancing solution.
The first successful e-Conveyancing transaction was completed in June 2013 through Property Exchange Australia (PEXA). Although PEXA is not yet available, it’s roll out is being staged. It is undoubtedly an exciting time for the Australian property industry.
Some basics about e-Conveyancing:
e-Conveyancing – The ability to perform lodgements and property settlements online through an electronic workspace. No paper, no need to physically leave the office.
ECNL – Electronic Conveyancing National Law that has already been adopted in some states – New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
NECDL – National e-Conveyancing Development Limited. Financial stakeholders include the Victorian, New South Wales, Western Australian and Queensland Governments, and financial institutions such as ANZ, CBA, NAB, Westpac and Macquarie Bank, Link Group and Little Group.
PEXA – Property Exchange Australia – an electronic workspace for land title financial settlement transactions. Created by NECDL, PEXA supports the exchange of property through the ability to perform lodgements and property settlements online. It is intended to remove the requirement to use paper based systems for completing property conveyancing transactions – this includes new mortgages, mortgage discharges, transfer of ownership, settlement, caveats and notices in an online platform.
ARNECC – The Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council – the body established to assist with the operation and ongoing management of the regulatory framework for electronic Conveyancing.
How will e-Conveyancing operate through PEXA?
PEXA is creating an online “workspace” for transactions. The workspace is designed to be accessible to all parties to the transaction and is a place for each party to share information, view documents and see the progress of the transaction. Undoubtedly, this kind of transparency will result in the following benefits to all parties involved:
- Lower costs through cheaper, more efficient service provision
- Less time required to complete each transaction
- More visibility of each stage of the transaction for all parties including banks
- No limit to the number of settlements that can take place
The use of PEXA will be voluntary and will not change land title law. The release of PEXA is being staged to include more functionality and transaction types over time. The first stage commenced in June 2013 and enables Land Registries and financial institutions to perform single party transactions such as standalone mortgages, discharges and refinances.
The second stage is expected to commence in mid-2014 and will provide for caveats, transfers, notices and settlements. All land registries, financial institutions, solicitors and conveyancers will be invited to participate. An e-Conveyancing transaction can only be processed if the all the parties to the transaction participate and are registered for e-Conveyancing purposes.
It is our intention here at the Conveyancing Studio to keep abreast with what is happening in the industry, and to participate in the e-Conveyancing process. This in turn will mean that we are able to provide a quality, efficient and up to date service to our clients.