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Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Estate Agent Networking.
Will inflation cause the base interest rate to rise?
The Bank of England committee has all agreed on the base rate remaining at a historic low of 0.1%. The significance of this is that mortgage lending will also remain at an all-time low.
However, the cloud looming on the horizon is that the low base rate is tied by the Bank of England to the rate of inflation, staying within the 2% rate limit it had forecast. At present, it is running at 2.5%, and historically the brake used to stop this increasing the base lending rate.
Analysts in the mortgage sector are looking with heightened scrutiny at the sentiment around this, because at present lending deals have never been better. But an uptick in lending rates would see the bonanza stopping.
The knock-on effect of not having a cheap fiscal supply to the marketplace would add downward tension on property prices and put those in a difficult financial position under heavier pressure.
With the Government-backed furlough scheme ending in September, the fact that 1.4 million to 2.8 million workers and employers are or have recently been using the scheme will feed into any economic decisions.
Checkboard launches today, building trust one check at a time
Today is the official launch of Checkboard, a next-gen KYC and finance checking platform which services tenants and buyers at lightning speed.
James Owusu, founder and CEO of Checkboard, said: “We are building trust one check at a time. The entire system where tenants and buyers have to prove who they are and their financial background multiple times is not broken, it is just slow and inefficient and has gaps.
With tenants and buyers eager to move forward, Checkboard is experiencing a gravitational pull towards its solution, giving users the power to do self-serve checking at pace.
Checkboard has enjoyed a meteoric rise and stellar backing. In March it announced over £620,000 of investment. One of the investors, Edwin Appiah of Cornerstone Partners, saw the merit of Checkboard: “Inefficiencies in the application process provide a real opportunity to innovate and digitise customer onboarding practices.”
Checkboard is looking to align itself with all of the agency CRMs so that adoption will be as quick and painless as the user experience. With 15 integrations due to be completed by the end of August, estate agents will be able to easily pull data directly from their CRM systems.
MyIdentity trust scheme launches to provide efficient digital identity verification
A digital identity trust scheme, called MyIdentity, is set to become the central hub for consumers, to help them prove who they are, once, in a more secure digital way. Under the scheme, home buyers and sellers should no longer be repeatedly asked to provide their identity details to all the parties involved in the chain of transactions.
With my other hat on, as a proptech real estate analyst and consultant, I must admit a personal involvement in this. However, despite my bias, it’s widely regarded that there is a fundamental need to have a single defining truth when it comes to identity checking.
So, when a person sells, buys, or rents, they can be digitally identified just once and once only, saving time and money. What’s also important is that this identity is trusted by all stakeholders in the process, to avoid needless bottlenecks.
Having been involved in the mix at the Government level, where evidence has been drawn from, I really feel that we are on the edge of a breakthrough. Digital will soon be seen as an empowering force, leading to quicker completions and more control over how consumers share their identity details…and who they share their identity details with.
Estate agents, licensed conveyancers, solicitors, and mortgage intermediaries operating in Battersea, Chiswick, Clapham, Putney, Wimbledon, Richmond, Kew, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Harrogate, and York are to be the first to benefit this year from trials of MyIdentity, making home buying and selling a quicker and more secure digital process.
Housing Minister RT Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “It is good to see the progress being made on rolling out this scheme. We know that buyers and sellers are confused and frustrated by the current process where they have their identity checked multiple times. A single check which can be relied upon by multiple parties will help us to deliver a modernised and better home buying experience.”
Stuart Young, director of Etive, the company delivering the trust scheme, said: “We are really pleased that the residential property industry has come together on this to work and improve such an important aspect of the home buying and selling process.”
Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.