Exploring Technology in Residential Property Markets
Blockchain has been touted by a multitude of advocates for its potential to alleviate challenges in the existing land registration process. Challenges include the additional transaction costs arising from the use of intermediaries in property transactions. The delays in completing land title registrations and poor record keeping (paper based deeds registries) are seen as a barrier to increased levels of investment in affordable housing.
This project represents CAHF’s first step in exploring the current and potential role of property technology across the housing value chain. Influenced by the potential of blockchain technology to record land rights in informal settlements through to supporting more efficient mortgage market development, the aim of this project is to explore and develop the role of PropTech related avenues in strengthening the housing value chain, especially with respect to affordable housing.
Since 2019, CAHF in partnership with 71point4 and Seso Global have explored the potential for using blockchain technology in South Africa to record residential property transactions in the absence of formal engagement with the regulated system.
Background papers and resources that have influenced our thinking behind the application of blockchain technology are as follows :
- Blockchain and Property in 2018 : At The End of the Beginning by J. Michael Graglia and Christopher Mellon
- The Nail Finds a Hammer Self-Sovereign Identity, Design Principles, and Property Rights in the Developing World by J. Michael Graglia , Christopher Mellon and Tim Robustelli
- What Should We (NOT) Do With Land Administration Data? The Risk of Privatization of Land Administration And Blockchain`s Code As Law By Jacob Voss
- Evaluating the Use of Blockchain in Land Transactions: An Archival Science Perspective by Victoria L. Lemieux
Through the Transaction Support Centre, CAHF in partnership with 71point has acquired and documented valuable knowledge and learnings around the potential, limitations and challenges of implementing blockchain to solve land registry issues in low income neighborhoods.
- In 2019, Kecia Rust and 71point4‘s Illana Melzer spoke on the Talking Transformation Podcast, a new podcast addressing contemporary city building and spatial transformation issues in South Africa. Listen to the podcast here.
At the 36th AUHF Virtual Conference and AGM 2020, various experts from across the continent participated in panel discussions on:
- Resolving Land Titling Challenges With Blockchain Technology: Experiences From South Africa: Click here to access the recording of the presentation and panel discussion.
- The Future of Proptech in Affordable Housing in Africa: Click here to access the recording of the panel discussion.
- Proptech Masterclass: Click here to access the recording of the Masterclass.
There are various industry associations and research institutions across the continent working in this space. We will be exploring additional avenues and you’re invited to check back often for new developments.