HM Land Registry to remain in public sector

Philip Hammond 620px

The Government will retain HM Land Registry in the public sector and focus on it becoming a “more digital data-driven registration business”.

In the Autumn Statement today, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced that “modernisation will maximize the value of HM Land Registry to the economy”, which should be completed without a need for significant Exchequer investment.

Privatising the Land Registry had been mooted for some time.

The Conveyancing Association chairman Eddie Goldsmith says the move is welcomed.

“The CA responded to the consultation on this matter and the vast majority of our members were in favour of the Land Registry remaining in the public sector, so we are clearly very supportive of today’s clarification,” says Goldsmith.

“Interestingly, the Autumn Statement suggests that the Land Registry should become ‘a more digital data-driven registration business’ and that ‘modernisation will maximise the value of [it] to the economy’. This, in effect, is a steer that it should focus on its core role of registration and delivering this through a digital process, which one assumes should include such things as e-signatures. We are fully supportive of moves towards an up-to-date digital conveyancing service – as outlined in our recently published White Paper on modernising the home moving process. If we’re able to see the Land Registry moving swiftly in this direction then this ambition will be achieved much more quickly.

“We are looking forward to engaging with the Land Registry to help it maintain that focus and to work together on securing a 21st Century conveyancing process.”