The first step toward a national electronic conveyancing system was taken today as PEXA (Property Exchange Australia) commenced operation in Victoria.[1]

During the initial testing phase, the system is only being used for CBA mortgage releases. However over the next year, registries in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia are scheduled to join the system together with all major banks and other financial institutions.

The system is expected to be available for use by lawyers in conveyancing transactions in late 2014. The state government recently passed legislation to allow for electronic lodgement of documents through the system.

Benefits

PEXA will facilitate conveyancing transactions by enabling:

  • all parties to the transaction to prepare and digitally sign Titles Office documents[2] ;
  • the electronic transfer of funds between financial institutions and solicitors' trust accounts, as well as paying stamp duty rates and other property outgoings; and
  • electronic lodgement of documents in the land registry.

What does this mean for sales by developers?

Whilst the contracting process isn't expected to change, for developers, this means:

  • no physical settlement required;
  • "fallovers" less likely; and
  • more efficient transfer of funds.