Property technology has taken another leap forwards after the UK’s first house was sold using a blockchain system, similar to that used in Bitcoin transactions, in Oldham, Manchester.
Manchester-based HS Property Group used the Clicktopurchase platform in order to sell a four-bedroom HMO (house in multiple occupation) in Oldham using blockchain technology for the first time in the UK after completing the full exchange of contracts online.
Bitcoin, which has risen to prominence in recent months after its value soared, uses similar blockchain technology to facilitate transactions, which essentially means that all transactions are recorded in an immutable ledger, which is distributed among all users so that it is impossible to tamper with and is fully transparent.
The future is paperless
With this residential property sale, all stages of the transaction, including offer, acceptance and exchange of contracts, were recorded using the blockchain ledger, enabling them to be easily tracked and viewed using the technology. At the moment, while all the legal contracts can also be completed and signed digitally, making the process much swifter, the purchase must still be registered manually with Land Registry once it completes – although this process could also become paperless.
Guy Horne, director and co-founder of HS Property Group, said: “The way we currently transact property is anachronistic, protracted and unreliable. Using blockchain technology will be the future of property transactions. The speed and transparency it offers will democratise property investment worldwide.”
Faster, more efficient processing
“As a company which prides itself on innovation, we want to offer our global investor network a more straightforward and secure method to purchase residential investments without compromising any legal safeguards” – Guy Horne
Neil Singer, CEO of clicktopurchase, added: “Some of the biggest problems the property industry faces is the length of time it takes to exchange contracts along with the lack of certainty. Real estate transactions can be complex but by using clicktopurchase the process is significantly quicker.”
The end of last year saw the UK’s first property sold in Bitcoins as the cryptocurrency gained momentum, and a number of other homes were also listed for sale with the option to buy in Bitcoins.