The digitisation of real estate through disruptive technologies has made information more accessible. Investors can rely on digitised data to conduct due diligence on the property before closing the transaction. Previously, the absence of a transparent regulatory framework made real estate transactions vulnerable to fraud and malpractices.
The world is increasingly becoming paper-free, and digital information is readily available. In this context, Online Property Verification System (OPVS) and Online Land Registry System (OLRS) are vital for mitigating and eliminating the risks associated with fraudulent property transactions.
The risks of capital traps and fraudulent transactions are unwavering issues in the real estate sector of Pakistan. OPVS and OLRS are critical to promoting transparency, restoring investors’ confidence in real estate transactions, and ensuring capital influx into the economy.
This article by the Iqbal Institute of Policy Studies will discuss the significance of the Online Property Verification System (OPVS) and Online Land Registry System (OLRS).
Digitised Data for Property Verification
It is pertinent to stay informed and updated with the property’s details before entering into a transaction. For example, the mushrooming of illegal housing societies is a recurrent issue across Pakistan.
According to the figures projected by Capital Development Authority – CDA, Islamabad has approximately 64 authorised housing societies and around 140 illegal housing societies.
The real estate transactions in unapproved and illegal properties are primarily dubious, resulting in a plethora of disputes in courts and a ‘capital trap’.
It is nearly impossible to timely obtain the documents required to conduct property due diligence before closing the transaction. The Government is taking adequate measures for regularisation in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of a Digital Pakistan.
Due to a lack of resources, the role of private entities is crucial to ensure the implementation of a digital framework in real estate.
Role of Private Entities
Realising the potential of the real estate sector, the IMARAT Group has recently launched PropSure Digital Solutions, offering Pakistan’s first-ever online property verification and inspection services. PropSure has accomplished geo-tagging and digital mapping of over 3 Million Plots, 0.5 Million Points of Interest and 0.2 Million Roads in planned areas of 7 major cities of Pakistan.
Each of these plots has exclusive data with 47 different indicators to aid investors in making informed real estate investment decisions.
Each property in PropSure’s inventory contains a Title Plan and a Title Register by the legal and regulatory status of the relevant plot. PropSure has amplified market knowledge with the true impact of location-based data to understand better the real estate market and the factors that drive growth.
OPVS- Online Property Verification System
The real estate sector provides the most lucrative investment opportunity in Pakistan. The manual property verification system makes it challenging to verify property before a transaction, especially for overseas investors.
Many countries have introduced online property verification mechanisms to assist investors. For instance, the USA has established a comprehensive online land records system, the USLandRecords, to facilitate the official records search for a particular property.
Similarly, for the first time in Pakistan, PropSure Digital Solutions has introduced the OPV system, covering various property attributes.
It includes the Layout Plan, Approval status, competent authority to obtain approvals, complete address of the property, Layout Plan (LOP) approval status, total area (sq. Yds), and the type of land use permitted in the approved layout plan.
The manual access to this information is complex and time-consuming, discouraging the investors from verifying property before transactions. People want quick and easy solutions to problems; OPVS is one solution to property verification and inspection problems for safe and secure transactions.
OLRS- Online Land Registry System
PropSure also offers an Online Land Registry System (OLRS), one of its kind service in Pakistan. Access to the land registry will help mitigate the issues related to title claims of a property. Land records are predominantly physical records that are not computerised or digitised.
This makes the manual process for title verification oAf a property time-consuming and cost-ineffective. It also makes the investors rely solely on agents or brokers, which paves the way for fraudulent practices. The OLR System will facilitate the investors to access the land records before the transaction evade landing in a capital trap.
Many countries such as the USA, India, and European nations are also moving towards digitised land registry systems to streamline real estate transactions. This reinforces the importance of regulating the real estate market and its growing importance in the global economy.
The Government of Pakistan is regularising the real estate economy to prevent financial crimes and to guarantee the progress of the real estate industry. However, Pakistan is a developing country with limited resources to invest in new research and digitisation.
The role of private companies like PropSure Digital Solutions is essential to assist the Government in materialising the vision of Digital Pakistan, and the OLRS is a revolutionary step in that direction.
Digitisation trends have taken over the real estate industry across the world. Real Estate is one of the fastest-growing sectors of Pakistan’s economy, but the rate of capital injection does not fully translate into the capital influx.
The real estate sector largely remains unregulated, resulting in capital traps and sham transactions. Limited access to information hampers the investors to conduct due diligence of the property, and they end up falling into the lucrative marketing traps of illegal properties, especially housing societies.
Pakistan needs digital property verification and inspection services to ensure transparency, promote ethical corporate practices, create awareness and eradicate malpractices in the real estate sector. The process of manually obtaining documents for property verification is time-consuming and results in investors opting for quick and easy ways to speed up real estate transactions.
The OPVS and OLRS services by PropSure Digital Solutions provide digital access to information about a property before entering a trade. These revolutionary services have been made available in Pakistan for the first time by using disruptive technologies for the digital mapping of real properties.