News In Focus
Registers of Scotland fees to be frozen for three more years
Statutory fees charged by Registers of Scotland (RoS) will be held at their present levels until at least April 2017, Fergus Ewing, Minister for Enterprise, Energy & Tourism, confirmed yesterday.
The announcement, which means that fees will remain at the level set in 2011, comes as the upturn in the property market sees RoS return to profitability for the first time in five years.
RoS is also embarking on its Land Register completion project, wit the target of registering all Scottish land within the next 10 years, and all public sector land within five years.
“We are committed to getting the very best value for the property-buying public," Mr Ewing commented. "This [announcement] means that property buyers in Scotland will benefit from the upturn in the volume of transactions in the property market and year-on-year improvements in RoS’s efficiency. The average fees charged now represent around 0.25% of the average house price, compared to almost 0.4% in 1996. This is excellent news for property buyers.”
Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers, added: “As a trading fund, RoS is exposed to the highs and lows of the property market. It’s been a difficult five years for the economy, and this has been reflected in the housing market.
“We’ve now seen four consecutive quarters of an increase of more than 22% in the volume of sales, and in the last quarter, average prices were up by over 5% for the first time in almost four years.
"This, along with improved working practices and efficiency measures, means that we will have the reserves to both progress with our Land Register completion project, and deliver the very best service at the most reasonable prices to our customers.”