Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), the electronic property exchange platform, has now completed more than one million property transactions[1], with over half of those transactions occurring in the last 10 months. PEXA, formed to fulfil a Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) initiative, aims to deliver a national e-Conveyancing solution to the Australian property industry. The company has been operating since 2010.

Australia’s property market is valued at approximately $7.5 trillion[2] and in 2017 it was reported that an average of 590,000[3] dwellings changed ownership each year. In the existing paper-based process, approximately one in four property settlements are delayed, risking financial cost and stress for buyers and sellers. PEXA, backed by the big four banks and four state governments, is working to digitise the industry.

As a participant to the very first PEXA transaction, back in 2013, Paul Major, Business Services Manager at Land Victoria said, “PEXA offers a transparent way for people to see and share an entire transaction, creating an environment where you can work collaboratively. It provides a genuine level of certainty and a real capacity to make things happen quickly and effectively. Transactions have an impressive turnaround. From the time the settlement is completed, sellers have been able to access proceeds in 30 minutes and buyers have had their names on titles in half that time.”

Since its inception, PEXA has worked tirelessly to establish a national industry climate, ready to facilitate the digital transformation of property. This has included collaboration with over 140 banks and financial institutions, commitment from state governments, the creation of a robust regulatory framework and backing from the practitioner community. Bringing together various stakeholders to create and sustain a successful network has been an extensive process. Today, 98% of Australia’s mortgage lending market and over half of all legal and conveyancing firms nationwide are on the PEXA platform.

“Initially we thought that the transition to this digital world would be difficult to implement. We encouraged our staff to lead the way and show others how to navigate the system. Everyone really got on board and now just love using PEXA,” said Dan Lynch, Managing Director & Principal, First State Conveyancing, a regional firm in New South Wales. “As a business owner, it’s evident that the simplicity of PEXA and the streamlining of the settlement process leads to happier, more engaged staff. They aren’t spending hours on the phone booking settlements or having settlements fall over through no fault of their own. Because we have a digital solution, today some of our staff are able to have flexibility built into their work hours.”

Katherine Hanson, Director at C&R Conveyancing South, a progressive firm based in Cockburn Central, Western Australia said, “Working with PEXA has transformed the way we operate. By moving to a digital platform, our processes are more streamlined, and this helps us provide a more effective and reliable service to our customers. Double deals[4] can be booked early in the morning and access to title deeds can be completed by close of business. This saves our customers valuable time and money.”

Kelly Thannhauser, owner of Sargeants Conveyancing’s Benalla-Wangaratta branch in Victoria added, “I love using PEXA when settling my clients’ files. It is so quick and easy. I have the added security of knowing that the titles are registered in my clients’ names instantaneously and my vendors have access to their money straight away.  We have clients all over Victoria. Through PEXA, settlements in Wodonga with simultaneous purchase settlements in Warrnambool, over 570km away, are done from my desk without the risk of documents getting lost in the mail on their way to settlement agents.”

PEXA CEO, Marcus Price said, “In the first couple of years, we invested time into building strong relationships with the industry and collaborated closely with financial institutions, peak bodies and practitioners to establish a solid pathway to digitisation. Throughout our journey, we’ve been privileged to work with outstanding banking and practitioner teams, who have been crucial to the industry’s reform. The platform promotes strong partnerships between lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions and we highly value their contributions as we continue to build on this safe, reliable and efficient system. We are committed to supporting the network as we transition together towards a 100% digital conveyancing process.”

[1] transactions include settlements such as transfers, refinance and caveats
[2] Residential Property Market, CoreLogic National Housing Market and Economic Update (March 2018)
[3] ABS 2017 (5609, Table 10a)
[4] Double deals occur when a customer is selling and buying a property at the same time