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Housing Minister to form PropTech advisory council


Housing Minister Esther McVey MP has unveiled plans for a new expert advisory council dedicated to the digital transformation of the property sector.

The PropTech council will advise ministers on how to support and grow the sector further, the Government has said. It added that there would be a particular focus on how technology could be used to make it easier and cheaper to plan, build and buy new homes.

“We’re taking every advantage that new technology has to offer across the entire house building and house buying journey,” said Ms McVey. “Whether that’s finding a plot of land, getting planning permission, engaging the local community, getting the property built or selling or buying a house.

“The people behind PropTech are using technology to make the process faster, simpler and cheaper. This new industry is digitally transforming the whole of the property sector, putting much more information at the public’s fingertips.”

The Housing Minister met with PropTech leaders in London on 4 November to discuss the council. It follows an industry roundtable the Government hosted in October, which focused on digital transformation in the real estate sector.

Faisal Butt, founder and CEO of Pi Labs, is the first advisor to be named on the council, with the identity of the other advisors still to be revealed.

The UK PropTech sector receives 10% of global PropTech investment and has the potential to be worth £6 billion, the Government’s statement said.

Mike Scott, partner at Cripps Pemberton Greenish, commented: “As long as the right people are on it, this advisory council is just what we need; a collaboration between public and private sector with a view to bridging the gap between real estate and tech. Only by converging the two can tech understand the challenges facing real estate and real estate can start to understand where tech can add real value.

“The housing industry is complex and fragmented and this advisory body should help to bring the various stakeholders together with a view to pooling resources, sharing data and identifying the areas where tech can simplify and speed up every stage of the property life-cycle from planning to sale. We could do with the same approach in commercial real estate.”