Disruptive technology is transforming the UK property development market right across the board. From lenders, owners, investors, brokers and tenants, technological solutions streamline the process and cut costs. Research published by Oxford University suggests artificial intelligence (AI) can replace intermediaries. Brokers are not convinced. One broker called AI a “pipedream.” Another described lending technology as “solutions looking for problems.”
But whilst the middlemen are not impressed by the technological solutions, the large lenders have put in place, third-party innovations look far more promising.
Property developers have to be agile and flexible to keep pace with a growing number of competitors. Traditionally, the alternative lending market has been notoriously slow and frustrating. Lending platforms such as Pitch 4 Finance put property developers in direct contact with lenders that meet their borrowing criteria. Unique digital solutions save time, effort and money on both sides.
Lenders have also upgraded their technology to safeguard the mortgage application process, minimise costs and improve market efficiency and transparency. The majority of buy-to-let mortgage applications would fail using legacy systems. However, technology has helped to define how information is exchanged between counterparties.
The continuous growth of transaction data enables lenders to verify borrowers and approve applications quickly. Smart contracts facilitated by the blockchain will help to make the property development market even more efficient and transparent.
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Buying the Right Property
Technology is impacting all asset classes. Whilst the property development market has been slow on the uptake of disruptive technologies, an influx of upgrades in the last couple of years has helped to make property investment opportunities more visible. The focal point of a property portfolio is to maximise returns. Recent changes in the property market brought about remote working and urban development mean that property location plays a crucial role in building and buying. But conducting research the traditional way is time-consuming and frustrating.
Digital technology gives property developers and landlords access to reliable data that enables them to identify property hotspots and organise their location strategy. Software enables researchers to analyse markets quickly and eliminate a lot of guesswork.
Developers are also using technology to design visual concepts before passing the project on to an architect to improve the finer details. This eliminates costs associated with architects.
Property platforms have been focused on providing designers and buyers with a space to showcase property online during the building process. The adoption of virtual reality and augmented reality has made it possible for prospective buyers to tour a property without investing time travelling to and from the physical location.
Prospects can simply log in and take a 360-degree tour online; zoom in, zoom out. Not only does this give buyers the opportunity to view more properties, but there is also even scope for buyers to customise rooms with their preferred layout and choose materials for kitchens, bathrooms and floors.
Although technological advancements in the property market has been slow in the making, adoption is expected to happen quickly. Existing markets have too many obstacles which technology eliminates.