Industry urges Gove to speed up homebuying times in open letter  


Mortgage brokers and other property firms have written an open letter to Michael Gove urging him to lead a drive for faster homebuying times, as the current the process does “not work well for consumers or businesses”.  

They tell the housing secretary: “It is too slow and uncertain, leading to all parties left waiting for transactions to complete, not knowing if or when it will happen.  

“This has worsened in recent years with transactions now taking 133 days to complete, almost 80% longer than in 2007.”  

The letter is signed by a range of industry figures, including L&C Mortgages chief executive Alan Young, Mortgage Advice Bureau deputy chief executive Ben Thompson and Twenty Ci founder Ian Lancaster.  

They say these delays have led to an increase in the number of home moves that have collapsed, with 90,188 transactions estimated to have fallen through in the third quarter of 2022, a 15.6% increase on the previous quarter and a 3.6% higher on a year ago.  

The letter argues that new technology will cut housebuying times.  

It says: “Industry must commit to reform the analogue processes that powers the homebuying and selling process and adopt new, innovative solutions that are powered by technology and data.   

“Greater data sharing, more upfront information and standardised tools across the industry will transform how businesses help consumers move and give them more certainty that they will complete their purchase on the day they want to.”  

But they say that the government must lead this transition with a new digital ‘Time to Buy’ strategy.  

“Government must drive industry to take up these solutions by creating a new Time to Buy strategy with leading players that sets out the clear desire for the market to work better for movers and businesses,” the letter says.  

“By setting out a plan for the future of the market and supporting businesses to take up technology and innovative solutions, government can make the process more effective, certain, and open up the prospect of a faster process in a matter of months.”  

They add: “The home moving market can contribute billions of pounds in activity to our economy, and by making it work better it can play its full role in economic growth in the coming months and years.”  

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