Do online property transactions threaten human jobs?

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In Dubai, the government is developing the Real Estate Self Transaction (REST) system, an online platform for buying and selling property. Could a similar system be used in the UK to replace human jobs?

The Dubai REST system is expected to be completed by 2020 and will allow property owners to buy and sell properties online without the need for paper documentation. Banks can connect to the system to deposit mortgage funds that finance purchases. This is expected to save time processing property purchases. The system will also manage the renting of properties for landlords.

Some experts claim that the Dubai system, or any online property system, should not make humans redundant. Online systems can speed up the administration of property purchases and mortgage transactions, but people will still want human experts for advice. Brokers will be needed to help their clients find the best residential or commercial mortgage deals.

Depositing mortgage money directly into an online system may be efficient, but it will not necessarily abolish mortgage delays. This means that short term bridging loans may still be required to complete property purchases. It is unlikely that the need for human advisers at brokers will become redundant.

Faisal Durrani, head of research at Dubai real estate firm Cluttons said: “Technological enhancements are taking the property world by storm and while the talk of AI and the mechanisation of the global workforce has already begun, there are some roles that are unlikely to come under immediate threat.”

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