DIAS carries out residential sales transactions digitally
Frequently asked questions
A new law taking effect at the beginning of 2019 will transfer housing company shares in stages to a digital register maintained by the National Land Survey of Finland, and consequently paper share certificates will be invalidated. The change enables carrying out housing transactions digitally in the future. The goal is to make digital trading possible also with paper share certificates during 2019.
DIAS is a Finnish acronym for digital housing trading. A platform for the housing market, it has been designed in Finland with the extensive involvement of industry stakeholders, such as banks, real estate agents and developers. DIAS enables selling and buying a home digitally. It is a secure and reliable platform that takes care of the trading process. It handles, e.g., the transfer of information between banks, the buyer’s and the seller’s signatures, the asset transfer tax and other fees as well as requesting the change of ownership in the register of housing company shares maintained by the National Land Survey of Finland. The DIAS platform is based on secure blockchain technology.
The DIAS platform for digital housing trading has been developed by the Finnish Tomorrow Tech together with Finnish banks. All the major actors of the residential real estate sector—banks, real estate agents and developers—are involved in the digitalisation process. The National Land Survey of Finland is responsible for creating a platform system that enables digital procedures. DIAS is an open platform, and all parties involved in residential sales are invited to use it.
In November 2018, a joint enterprise called Digitaalinen asuntokauppa DIAS Oy, which is owned by Aktia, Danske Bank, OP, S-Bank and Tomorrow Tech, was formed to conduct business related to the DIAS platform. The joint enterprise is responsible for developing and operating the platform.
Digital housing transactions are a more flexible, more secure and faster way to trade. With digital trading, there is no need to hold a paper share certificate in the bank’s vault or send mortgage deeds from one bank to another when buying or selling your home. Reducing manual work saves time, too.
Digital housing trading is flexible. Trading is no longer confined by time or place, but instead you can buy or sell an apartment even on a holiday trip.
At the same time, the availability and coverage of information improve. The apartment information system will thus provide reliable and accurate information quickly and efficiently.
Digitalisation also eliminates the danger of losing share certificates. At present, hundreds of housing company share certificates are lost every year. The apartment information system will thus provide reliable and accurate information quickly and efficiently.
According to an impact assessment carried out by the Finnish government in autumn 2017, the overall gain of digital housing trading for property managers, real estate agents, banks, developers and apartment owners will be nearly as high as EUR 45 million.
Digital housing trading is not confined by time or place. On a digital platform, you can close a deal 24/7 completely reliably. Digital housing trading is possible when a housing company’s share register is digitalised and its ownership data is transferred to a register maintained by the National Land Survey of Finland. The goal is to make digital residential sales gradually possible during the spring and summer of 2019.
The change will make trading faster and easier, as it will reduce manual work. Bank visits or shuffling papers from one place to another become unnecessary.
Conducting housing transactions in the traditional way will remain possible, too.
From the beginning of 2019, all new Finnish housing companies will be established digitally.
For old housing companies, the transition period for digitalising share registers will begin on 1 May 2019 and end on 31 December 2022. After a housing company’s share register has been digitalised, the residents can digitalise their own share certificates.
Housing companies must transfer their share registers to the electronic register of housing company shares by the end of 2022. Transfers can be made from 1 May 2019 onwards. After this, the National Land Survey of Finland will maintain each housing company’s share register in its register. In other words, housing companies will not have any role in maintaining the share register after the transfer. Share registers will remain public, which means that anyone can review the share register if they wish and obtain a copy of it from the National Land Survey of Finland.
Real estate agents can conduct digital residential sales through DIAS. Digital housing trading will speed up and facilitate real estate agents’ job. Housing transactions will become smoother and deals can be completed faster. Consequently, real estate agents will have more time for customer service, viewings and selling.
The customers of DIAS include real estate agencies, banks and developers, and they also pay the expenses generated by the use, maintenance and development of the platform.
In the long term, the digitalisation of the housing trade will bring significant savings, since it currently involves with-button manual stages. DIAS will accelerate trading and save time for both banks and real estate agencies.
Digital housing trading requires that the apartment being sold is included in the electronic apartment information system. Banks, real estate agents and developers will move to using the DIAS platform in stages.
Digital residential sales begin with the agent or developer transferring the housing company’s share register digitally to the DIAS platform. Next, DIAS sends approval requests to the seller’s and buyer’s banks. The banks review the deal’s information for their part, after which the seller and buyer sign the deed of sale electronically. The parties identify themselves using their Mobile ID or TUPAS authentication (the Finnish online banking credentials). DIAS is also used to pay the asset transfer tax and other fees and to request the change of ownership in the electronic register of housing company shares. After this, all parties receive a confirmation of the completed deal.
In addition to the conveyance of the apartment, the explicit consent of the owner entered in the register is always needed for changing the ownership details. In DIAS, both parties sign the deeds of sale electronically using their online banking credentials or Mobile ID. Therefore, conducting housing transactions through DIAS is at least as secure as online banking.
DIAS utilises private blockchain technology where information is stored in a decentralised form only in the databases of the banks involved in the transaction. This increases the platform’s security and reliability.
Digital housing trading is also an improvement when it comes to storing and retrieving information. Apartment owners do not need to take the responsibility for storing paper share certificates or the risk of losing them. The maintenance of share registers is transferred from housing companies to a centralised register maintained by state authorities.
DIAS utilises a distributed ledger technology (DLT), which is based on blockchain technology. DLT enables using a decentralised database, which makes it possible for the stakeholders in the housing trade to conduct trade together more reliably and more securely.