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Are logbooks needed for speedy and successful property transactions?

The property market is slowing down, with the number of properties on the market at a record low.  This is partly due to the uncertainties over Brexit and other economic conditions causing people to hesitate. The length of time it takes to buy and sell properties is also increasing. In response, the Government is considering using so-called ‘logbooks’ to speed up the process.

State of the property market

Recent research from Post Office Money® has brought into focus the increased delays and the general health of the UK property market.  For example:

  • Most sellers will get an offer within 3 months of the property being put on the market.
  • 1 in 3 property transactions fall through in the first three weeks.
  • It takes 126-131 days to sell a property in London, while in Edinburgh it takes only 39-48 days.
  • On average it takes 102 days to sell a property in the UK.
  • The cost of failed transactions adds up to £270m a year on average.

What is a logbook?

In order to speed up the conveyancing process, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, together with the Law Society and the Conveyancers Association, have decided to back the introduction of virtual logbooks. These are designed to ensure that sellers provide information about their property before it goes on the market, to make the home buying process quicker and less stressful.

A logbook will be a secure web-based information platform, where important documents are uploaded.  The documents would include copies of leases, planning and building regulation consents, and any guarantees and reports such as flood reports.

Buyers will be able to access the logbook, allowing them to make an earlier and more informed decision on whether to go ahead.  It is hoped this will save time and costs in the long term for all parties.

It remains to be seen when and whether a logbook will be introduced and we will keep you updated on developments.  Anything that reduces the length and costs of conveyancing and reduces instances of ‘no deals’ must surely be welcome.

Our approach to conveyancing has always been to obtain as much information as early as possible.  We create a concise ‘pre-contract pack’ of documents and information, so that the transaction can be as smooth as possible. We also limit the number of transactions we take on at any one time, to ensure we can devote an appropriate amount of time to our clients and ensure their transactions proceed as quickly as possible.

If you would like any assistance please contact Sonal Ghelani on sonalghelani@boltburdon.co.uk or 020 7288 4705.

You can also contact one of our other solicitors in the Residential Property team here.

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