Property logbooks now have political backing at a high level and, it is claimed, will be an established part of the property sales process by 2025 at the latest.
Nigel Walley, chair of new trade body the Residential Logbook Association, says he and the other founders had initially struggled to make headway until the housing ministry suddenly began taking an interest as political promises to ‘make moving home easier’ came to the fore.
“One day we were battling to even get low-level ministry interest in logbooks, and the next minute big political guns were sat around at meetings showing a keen interest,” says Walley.
Ministers are interested in logbooks because it’s an ‘oven ready’ solution to creating a central database of the nation’s properties that doesn’t require government funding; many of the different logbook providers are already making revenue and profits.
Estate agent challenge
“It’s important to flag up that most of the logbook companies are already live and signing up users,” he says.
“We just don’t yet have good integration with the estate agent industry although one of our new members, Sprift, is doing well in integrating to supply property data.”
Walley says that with agents it’s a chicken-and-egg situation – many of them are waiting for logbooks to gain traction before they get involved, and yet they are one of the keys to making logbooks successful.
“Although it might take until 2025 to achieve, with the government behind us and agents beginning to see their benefits, logbooks will get there in the end,” he says.
Other companies already up-and-running in specific sectors including the National Deeds Depository in conveyancing, Spaciable within new homes and Chimni (which Walley leads) in consumer property management.
It already has 1,000 users in West London where it is trialling a ‘property history’ database with Knight Frank that will see the histories of famous and important homes added to its logbooks.
Leading house historian Melanie Back-Hansen has been involved.
Read more about property logbooks.
Photo credit: London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham