Research Programs

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The PropTech CRC will be supported by an extensive program of research, focusing on four key streams: Unlocking Access, Unlocking Supply, Unlocking Capital and Unlocing Connectivity. These streams aim to explore how technologies can reinvent property transaction models, improve urban planning and decision making, and develop initiatives for positive, impact-based investing in Australian real-estate.

Unlocking Access

How can we make it easier for Australians to get into appropriate housing?

This program will improve the property transaction experience to address the inflexible and suboptimal ways that owners, buyers, renters, and investors rent/lease and buy/sell property.

Key Outputs

  • • Technologies that support the introduction of alternative home ownership and tenancy models, such as shared equity, build-to-rent, rent-to-buy, and the data and information required to have them work effectively
  • Solutions that improve marketplace asymmetries and incentivise better marketplace behaviour, such as renter/landlord scoring and automated rental management tools
  • Tools that streamline home searching and purchasing, such as automated valuation models, smart contracts, and automated mortgage solutions

Key Outcomes

  • Widespread adoption of new, technology enabled tenancy and home ownership models in Australia, making it easier for buyers, renters, and investors to enter the housing market
  • Reductions in asymmetries between buyers/sellers and landlords/renters during the search process
  • Reduced reliance on third party actors for home valuation, buying/selling and renting/leasing and rental management
  • Better information that informs more holistic decisions for buyers and renters – e.g. job opportunities, community safety, neighbourhood dynamics in addition to price and/or rental costs
  • Increases to housing security and housing affordability for all Australians, and particularly essential workers

Unlocking Supply

How can we improve planning processes, reduce the time from design to sale and better utilise existing housing stock?

This program will utilise digital technologies to support urban planning and decision making with the aim of removing supply bottlenecks through improving transparency and data quality as well as reducing inefficiencies in the plan-to-build process.

Key Outputs

  • New approaches to reducing supply constraints, such as through generative AI, digitising housing assets and the use of digital twins to create trusted, compliant designs that can be rapidly approved
  • Tools that streamline planning compliance through automating council planning rules and building codes and that take into account environmental, economic and neighbourhood dynamics
  • New, data-intensive technologies that accelerate home delivery and improve existing land utilisation, such as simulation tools and automated ‘door knocks’ discussing potential ways that spare private land can be utilised
  • Solutions that aid region/city/town planners to design better, more sustainable cities

Key Outcomes

  • Improved efficiency, transparency and trust in residential planning processes and approvals, leading to integrated decision making and real time assessment that satisfies the needs of communities, developers and planners
  • Significant improvements in both existing land utilisation and new home supply in areas that Australians want to live – the right housing located in the right area at the right time
  • Greater supply meaning more options for potential buyers and renters, especially essential workers, helping ease Australia’s existing housing pressures
  • Increased social license for new developments and smarter, future proofed communities

Unlocking Capital

How can we turbocharge the use of institutional capital, private finance and new types of financial innovation to support a fairer, greener residential housing market?

This program will develop the technologies and solutions required to unlock the use of positive, impact based capital in Australian real estate, and understand the impact of better building design on insurance and mortgage pricing.

Key Outputs

  • New savings products such as residential real estate linked index notes that match savings rates with changes in house prices
  • Shared risk and fractional equity products that shift the investor relationship with homeowners from competition to collaboration
  • Technologies that streamline matching investor funds to projects that aim to get essential workers into housing
  • Pricing models for risk sharing instruments such as insurance and equity mortgages that take into account incentives around climate related risks, energy efficiency and improvements to homes
  • ESG-backed structured financial products that incentivise the adoption of safer, affordable and greener housing, such as through tokenisation of green assets (such as solar panels)

Key Outcomes

  • Younger Australians better able to save for the purchase of a new property through new savings mechanisms, whilst older Australians can use new products to improve their cash situations
  • Investors move from competing to collaborating with homeowners through shared equity, allowing investors to diversify risk and more Australians to enter the housing market
  • Risk sharing and impact driven market mechanisms
  • Greener and more energy efficient homes

Unlocking Connectivity

How can we create the data and technology driven foundations on which ecosystem participants can collaborate to create innovation throughout the property lifecycle?

This program will focus on developing the platforms and interoperable data sharing solutions that foster information exchange and better connect the various actors in Australia’s residential property sector

Key Outputs

  • Identification of data and technology standards to develop nationwide communication protocols across participants in the property lifecycle
  • Data repositories and on- demand tools that facilitate accessible property market information and generate automated insights from complex data
  • Cybersecurity and privacy protecting data solution standards aimed toward real estate data (e.g. improving rental application and/or homeowner data security)
  • Incorporation of blockchain, smart contracts, and digital identity to enable secure, transparent, and traceable transactions and interactions among the stakeholders involved in housing delivery

Key Outcomes

  • Digital rails that connect actors across the property lifecycle that facilitate new forms of collaboration and innovation opportunities for industry, academia, government and consumers
  • Better visibility and transparency for stakeholders across the whole property lifecycle through access to timelier, relevant information and insights
  • Better research insights and faster innovation that help reduce bottlenecks and inefficiencies as well as position Australia as a world leader in the PropTech sector

Impact

While the challenges facing Australia’s residential property market spaces are significant, the experience of other industries demonstrates that they are by no means insurmountable.

The introduction of trusted, interoperable solutions has revolutionised various sectors, enabling data coordination, verification and trust amongst different actors and processes. To point to one example, the airline industry has seen significant benefits stemming from trusted technologies: technologies that first enabled plane tracking, then digitisation of seat booking, and subsequently the creation of end-to-end travel booking systems that now include ground transport, accommodation deals and even entertainment. These platforms have significantly improved transparency, competitiveness and efficiency for all actors involved, all whilst having a profound impact on consumer experience.

In a similar fashion, the PropTech CRC will play a key role in driving the creation of research, new technologies, and new services and businesses – as well as highly trained human capital – that foster transparency, collaboration and competition in Australian residential real estate.

First, the technology created by the PropTech CRC will result in an integrated experience throughout planning, building, funding, living and buying/selling. Second, the resulting property ecosystem will facilitate expansion into a range of related services that would benefit from digital integration, such as insurance, removalists, utilities and maintenance.

Furthermore, policymakers, industry professionals and academia will have access to improved data and a platform that allows the continual testing and evaluation of solutions and technologies. This digital interconnectivity will in turn enhance productivity and ROI for participants, all whilst generating valuable research and technologies that can be exported globally.

Finally, technologies that support new home ownership and tenure models will enable more Australians to enter the property market and achieve sustainable home ownership, and in turn, experience better housing security and improve quality of life.

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We invite you to join us on this journey and become part of the solution that will create positive change for generations to come.

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