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Land Registry optimistic despite property slump

Land Registry optimistic despite property slump

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 18 August 2009

Land Registry, the government department responsible for land registration in England and Wales, today (18 August) published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2008/9 online at

Introducing the report, Peter Collis, Chief Land Registrar and Chief Executive, said:

"While it has probably been one of the most difficult periods in our 147 year history, we are looking forward to implementing new plans which will see Land Registry emerge as an even more customer-focused organisation. The current property slump led to a challenging financial year, which has seen our core business collapse by up to 75 per cent in volume.

"In the future we envisage a smaller, leaner, more customer-focused organisation dealing with many applications electronically and providing an expanding range of products and services to customers."

Highlights of the year include:

* the number of registered titles held on Land Registry’s database reached 22 million
* the first mortgage or e-charge was signed electronically on 24 March 2009
* Land Registry won a medal in the organisational excellence section of the British Computer Society’s IT industry awards for implementing electronic discharges
* for the first time in its history Land Registry processed more voluntary than compulsory first registrations
* the campaign to encourage owners of unregistered property to voluntarily sign up to the Land Register achieved its target of registering 325,000 hectares, with months to spare
* historic properties such as Hereford Cathedral were registered for the first time

* after a major consultation exercise, Land Registry introduced significant changes to the Land Registration Rules in order to improve operational efficiency and reduce the administrative burden on customers

* the project to improve the index map passed the landmark of processing 2 million polygons (electronically created multisided figures that represent the registered extent of a title)

* a major new five-year, £50 million contract was signed with IT firm Steria to provide Land Registry’s distributed IT services.

Mr. Collis paid tribute to staff who left during the year. He thanked them for their loyalty and dedication to their work which reflected so well on them and on the organisation.

Notes to editors

1. Land Registry’s Annual Report and Accounts 2008/9, priced £14.35 is available from TSO shops and Media copies are available from the Press Office on 0207 166 4215. The press notice and report are also available in Welsh. Please contact the Press Office for a copy or visit

2. With the largest transactional database of its kind detailing over 22 million titles, Land Registry underpins the economy by safeguarding ownership of many billions of pounds worth of property.

3. As a government department established in 1862, executive agency and trading fund responsible to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Land Registry keeps and maintains the Land Register for England and Wales. The Land Register has been an open document since 1990.

4. For further information about Land Registry visit


NDS Enquiries

Marion Shelley
Phone: 020 7166 4543

Dinah Lartey
Phone: 020 7166 4487

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