Today's Conveyancer Podcast

Market conditions, the material information debate, and normalising climate change

The Today’s Conveyancer podcast talks to Chief Operating Officer at environmental data and search provider Groundsure, Malcolm Smith. After nearly 20 years in the sector Malcolm is known to many and in a refreshingly honest discussion, he shares his thoughts on current market conditions, the up front information debate, and normalising climate change advice for home movers.

Malcolm provides a positive outlook on property transactions; predicting an uplift in 2024. “Conveyancers will be as busy as they want to be” suggests Malcolm; with the mass exodus of conveyancers and experience during the pandemic, there is an argument to say we’re not geared up for any significant increase in transaction volumes.

Groundsure are a founding member of the Open Property Data Association (OPDA). With many still bearing the scars of Home Information Packs (HIPs – indeed Malcolm was in the room when Grant Shapps announced HIPs were to be axed) he is passionate about groups like the OPDA having a role in shaping the discussion and learning from the past. Having agreed data structures and standards to enable the effective sharing of data is an important part this process. It will, says Malcolm, take everyone in the sector to drive change.

On the material and up front information debate he is critical of the governance and structure around the guidance and raises concerns about the number of providers who could enter the market and “cut corners.” The quality of the information and data is fundamental to the ability of home movers, lenders, estate agents, and conveyancers to rely on it.

Moving on to climate change Malcolm explains the driver for more climate data came from the banking and lending space; reviewing their portfolios and lending risks into the future. Acknowledging the impact on conveyancers Malcolm adds that in much the same way that there is no expectation on conveyancers to be contaminated land or flood experts, they are not expected to be climate change advisors and that organisations like Groundsure should continue to do the heavy lifting.

The Today’s Conveyancer podcast can be found on your preferred podcast provider and also at www.todaysconveyancer.co.uk. Subscribe and listen in for all the latest conveyancing industry news and views.

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