The coming of electronic conveyancing has been touted for over 10 years.  Initially planned to provide an online platform for conveyancing commencing with enquiry with an estate agent to final settlement, the reality is a more modest electronic settlement facility.  It will be the equivalent of the Australian Stock Exchange for property settlements.

The system is owned by Property Exchange Australia Ltd, a company whose shareholders include the New South Wales, Queensland, Victorian and Western Australian governments and the 4 major Australian banks.  The system is commonly referred to as PEXA.

PEXA facilitates the settlement process of transferring ownership in land.  All dealings between vendor and purchaser and their banks including stamping and registration are processed electronically.  It replaces the need for parties to physically come together and exchange documents and payment.

Settlement through PEXA is not mandatory but there is an expectation that it will become the means of settling most conveyancing transactions.

The expected benefits of using PEXA will be reduction in risk of fraud, certainty of settlement completion and potential saving in the time taken to organise and attend settlements.  However there is a charge to use PEXA and the overseas experience of similar systems is that the cost of a conveyance increases.

PEXA has selected Geelong as its initial launch site in Victoria.  Harwood Andrews have been meeting regularly with PEXA representatives.  Whilst conscious of the need to remain at the forefront of technology, the implementation of PEXA requires a substantial commitment in resources and development of new governance procedures.  We will keep you updated on the implementation and benefits for using the system.

For more information, please contact:

Stuart Monotti
Special Counsel
Harwood Andrews
T: 03 5226 8514
E: smonotti@harwoodandrews.com.au

Deborah Mann
Special Counsel
Harwood Andrews
T: 5226 8551
E: dmann@harwoodandrews.com.au