Suburban street new row houses modern high density living environment

Is blockchain technology set to disrupt the Australian property market?

Assisted by Maja Podinic.

Trying to save a deposit and secure a mortgage for the right property can be a truly daunting experience, especially if you forget to factor in the hidden costs, and the amount of time set to be spent finalising everything that comes along with the purchase of a property.

For the average home here in Australia, disbursements such as title registration, title insurance and any fees associated with the register of the property transfer can easily come close to $1000 – although as national land registries begin to give credibility to blockchain technology, the answer to these hidden costs may just be on the digital horizon.

The phrase ‘blockchain’ refers to an online ledger with the capability of recording the movement of any kind of asset, from one owner to the next.  The potential relevance of blockchain technology within the context of the property market is that it is one hundred percent public, meaning that there are no charges to record the transactions.  This also significantly minimises the need for middle-men, which leads into a range of further benefits.

Here in Australia, it typically takes over a month to settle a real estate transaction, however this time would likely decrease if the process became completely paperless with a move over to blockchain technology.  It’s interesting to note that while the United Kingdom, Russia, Brazil, UAE, Georgia and Honduras are starting to officially explore the use of blockchain technology for property transactions, the Swedish Land Registry has already done so, reporting that the benefits are being seen not only in the improved overall speed of the process, but in the security and verification of contracts – an increasingly relevant issue given ongoing international privacy breaches!

On a similar note, China’s President Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi have both come out in support of the potential future uses of blockchain technology – with the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh becoming the first to adopt blockchain for governance, piloting two key blockchain-centric projects relating to the management of land records, and streamlining vehicle registrations.

According to Thomson Reuters, Australia’s very own Securities Exchange provides a relevant example of the country’s adoption of blockchain technology for “reducing costs and increasing efficiencies in a government regulated service“.  The ASX is currently leading the world to become the first fiat currency based securities exchange to adopt blockchain in its post-trade processing system, and whilst the ASX isn’t a government agency itself, it is a regulated body – and its example has started prompting other exchanges (e.g. stock exchanges in Toronto, Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt) to consider blockchain technology.

It will be interesting to see how far-reaching blockchain technology does become in coming years.  Within the context of the Australian property market, it is quite possible that we will see an increase in buyers who would traditionally be looking at investing in residential property moving towards commercial property investments.

Of course, whilst blockchain does seem to close certain gaps in the market, at this time it still is an emerging and rapidly changing technology and should therefore be approached with a certain level of caution.

UPDATE: It has been reported that the NSW Land Registry Services has paired up with blockchain technology provider ChromaWay in a proof-of-concept program to develop new services the privatised land titles office can sell.

If you have a query relating to any of the information in this article or you would like to speak with someone in Coleman Greig’s Commercial Property team with regard to a legal matter, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:


Send an enquiry

Any personal information you provide is collected pursuant to our Privacy Policy.


More posts

SafeWork NSW
SafeWork NSW releases new strategy to address psychosocial hazards

On 22 May 2024 SafeWork NSW introduced a new strategy to address psychological and psychosocial hazards. The SafeWork NSW Psychological Health and Safety Strategy 2024-2026 establishes new supports for employers regarding their duties in preventing psychosocial harm in the workplace.

roles in the strata scheme
Understanding roles in the strata scheme

A strata scheme is a building or group of buildings that have been divided into lots which can be apartments, villas, offices, units or townhouses. This will be articulated in the strata plan.

Airbnb home
Can I put my home on Airbnb?

Airbnb is a form of short-term rental accommodation. To add your property to Airbnb in NSW, you are required to meet several laws and regulations governing short-term rentals.

liquidators required to seek approval
When are liquidators required to seek approval to retain legal counsel?

When does a liquidator (or the company he or she is appointed to) need court, creditor, or committee approval to validly retain a solicitor to act in a liquidation matter which is likely to extend for longer than three months?  The answer to this question has only recently been settled.

Proposed changes to building
Proposed changes to building and construction law in NSW

The Building Bill 2022 (the Bill) is the key avenue through which the NSW Government has proposed to reshape the culture of the building and construction industry by eliminating poor performance and improving the quality of building statewide.

Dismiss an employee
Can you dismiss an employee who fails to return to the office?

Slowly but surely, most employers are requiring employees to return to the office for at least a portion of their working week. Some employers continue to struggle with employees resistant to returning to the office or those who have an expectation that they can continue to work from home whenever it suits them.

Phoenixing in Construction
New powers to combat phoenixing in construction

The rise of phoenixing in the building and construction industry in Australia in recent years has proved a significant challenge to regulators. Mismanagement of time or cashflow can quickly propel businesses into insolvency.

© 2024 Coleman Greig Lawyers  |  Sitemap  |  Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. ABN 73 125 176 230