Impacts of e-Conveyancing on the conveyancing industry - Executive Summary

The conveyancing industry is undergoing a digital transformation with the national roll-out of an electronic lodgement and settlement system. This system allows practitioners, financial institutions, and government bodies to lodge documents and complete settlements electronically. This is part of a broader digital transformation underway in the Australian economy.

In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed to creating a single, national e-Conveyancing solution to the Australian property industry. In 2010, National e-Conveyancing Development Limited, now known as Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), was formed. PEXA has now rolled out its electronic platform across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia.

Previous research into the implications of electronic lodgement and settlement estimated there are significant benefits to stakeholders in the process, including practitioners. However, practitioners have indicated the industry is not achieving the estimated benefits under the current system.

PEXA commissioned Deloitte Access Economics (DAE) to undertake independent analysis of practitioner’s experience with the electronic system, and to model the potential benefits to the industry under a 100% digital lodgement and settlement process.

The estimated benefits to practitioners in the 2016-17 financial year were $3 million, with 2% of lodgements completed on the platform. The industry take-up rate affects the probability of a practitioner being able to transact electronically.1 For example, if 30% of all practitioners have the system and are willing to use it, the probability of a transfer transaction being completed electronically is less than 10% or one in every 10 transactions.2 This is further reduced if a transaction is unable to be conducted electronically due to the required forms being unavailable.

While the new system is generating benefits, the experiences of practitioners is varied. Firstly, some practitioners are not achieving time savings due to productivity losses from learning a new system.  Secondly, even when practitioners are achieving these time savings, there is often the perception that time savings are not a real benefit.

Impacts of e-Conveyancing on the conveyancing industry

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