News: Land Registry fees to rise

Thu, 16 Apr 09

The Land Registry, the Government department responsible for registering property and land in England and Wales, has confirmed it will increase its fees from the 6th July this year.

The hike is intended to reduce the current ’operating loss’ caused by the reduction in the number of property transactions in the UK property market.

The Land Registry is dependent on fee income to cover its costs and claims it has been seriously affected by the fall in property and mortgage transactions over the past year.

The increases mean that the fee for registering a property worth £100,000 will increase from £100 to £130. For a property worth £1 million, the fee will go up from £420 to £550.

There will also be increases in fees for providing information, including official searches and official copies, with for example, the fee for a postal official search increasing from £6 to £8.

Finance Director Heather Foster said, 'A range of measures has already been taken to cut costs, including a voluntary redundancy scheme and an accelerated plan to merge offices. Whilst these measures have helped to keep increases as small as possible, an increase is unavoidable and will mean, for an average priced property of £153,000, the increase is £50.'

She adds, 'We do not believe this will be a deterrent to market recovery, especially in the context of interest rates at historically low levels and lower house prices. Fee increases are rare. Since 1993, eight of the nine Fee Orders (amending the level of fees) introduced by Land Registry have reduced fees. We will, of course, keep the new fees closely under review.'

But estate agents will see the fee increases as yet another smack in the face for their customers who, only last week, were also hit with the cost of a Home Information Pack, which now has to be bought upfront and before a property can even be put on the market.

See also: House Prices by Town and Postcode, Home Buying Guide: The One-Off Costs

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