Land Registry Innovates to Streamline Conveyancing and Accelerate Property Transactions

The HM Land Registry has introduced a transformative update, offering lenders direct access to their application data. This strategic move is set to revolutionize the mortgage registration process by providing real-time updates on the status of mortgage security registrations, provided lenders include their unique ‘MD’ reference in the application.

This initiative is a significant step forward in enhancing efficiency and speed within the property transaction sector. By offering lenders direct insights into the progress of their mortgage registrations, the traditional and time-consuming process of updates chasing, where lenders and lender panel managers routinely contact conveyancers for status reports, will be eliminated.

A systematic weekly update will be shared with each lender, ensuring they are consistently informed about the progress of their applications. The pilot phase of this project includes 10 leading mortgage lenders, accounting for over 85% of residential lending in the UK, alongside two conveyancing panel managers. Success in this phase will pave the way for extending the service to additional lenders possessing an MD reference.

Mike Harlow, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Customer and Strategy at HM Land Registry, emphasized the significance of this advancement: “Lenders want to know that their mortgages are either registered or in the proper process of being registered. This new direct service completes the picture of where the registration of their mortgage has got to. Now they do not have to chase conveyancers unless something is genuinely at risk. This should save the industry millions of pounds a year and give time back to conveyancers.”

Rob Stevens, Head of Property Risk at Nationwide Building Society, shared his enthusiasm for the development, highlighting it as “a breakthrough moment” and a product of extensive collaboration between Nationwide, HM Land Registry, and other lenders. He anticipates that this innovation will automate the unregistered charges process and significantly reduce the communication overhead between lenders and conveyancers.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Building Society also lauded the initiative, recognizing the potential of real-time Land Registry updates to simplify the intricate and often stressful conveyancing processes. The new system is seen as a promising tool for enhancing efficiency and customer experience.

Charles Roe, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance, welcomed the initiative and acknowledged its potential to refine the home buying and selling experience for all parties involved. The organization looks forward to contributing to the pilot’s success and anticipates a broader rollout in the future.

Justin Parkinson, Managing Director of Decision First, expressed optimism about the initiative, foreseeing a substantial improvement in the operational efficiency of both lenders and conveyancers.

This innovative step by the HM Land Registry marks a pivotal advancement in property transactions, promising to expedite processes, reduce operational costs, and enhance the overall experience for lenders, conveyancers, and clients alike.