Property guru is back in business

THE FOUNDER of property website Rightmove has come out of retirement, setting up a conveyancing firm to try and cash in on the complexities of the UK real estate market.

Harry Hill has launched In-Deed, an online conveyancing service that lets house-buyers track progress of their purchase through mobile phones and a website.

Hill, who stepped down as chairman of estate agent Countrywide in 2009, said yesterday: “Feudal methods of property transfer still apply unfortunately, and in the last five years increased price competition to secure a shrinking market has driven service standards in conveyancing that are unacceptable in many cases.”

Hill is joined by co-founder Peter Gordon, a long-term investor who has worked at private equity group 3i for nearly two decades. The In-Deed venture is privately funded.

Philip Williamson, the former chief executive of Nationwide, has come on board as a non-executive director.

The firm claims that more than one in four homebuyers find conveyancing confusing, while 30 per cent view the service as a rip-off.

A survey commissioned by the company found that half of all purchasers have had to chase up their property lawyers, wasting an average of 10 hours over the lifespan of the transaction.