Press release

HM Land Registry signals the start of its transformation

Our Annual Report and Accounts 2016 to 2017 covers subjects including comprehensive registration, digital transformation, Digital Street, open data, estates and staffing.

Annual report and account 2016 to 2017 cover

HM Land Registry today released its Annual Report and Accounts, setting out its priorities for an ambitious digital transformation towards becoming the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data. This will include helping to identify areas that may be suitable for housing through the aim of comprehensive registration of land in England and Wales.

This is the first annual report and accounts HM Land Registry has published since it was announced by the government that it shall remain in the public sector and focus on becoming a digital and data-driven business.

Graham Farrant, Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar, said:

To our many stakeholders, I would ask you to join, support and partner with us as we explore how through digital technology we can work together to make conveyancing quicker, cheaper and simpler for everyone.

HM Land Registry aims to begin the comprehensive registration of land in England and Wales. The initial focus will be on prioritising public sector land in order to provide an early indication of the scale of potential sites for house building and associated infrastructure needs.

Alongside the improved registration of land, the transformation will also involve working with the private sector to research and test new digital registers, potentially exploring blockchain, a plan HM Land Registry is calling ‘Digital Street’.

By changing how it works internally and moving to become a more digitally data-driven organisation, HM Land Registry will aim to meet the changing needs of its customers, testing new ideas with them that could make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper.

Responding to a government commitment to drive innovation in the digital economy, HM Land Registry will open up more of its datasets externally and across government to support infrastructure development, financial security, tax collection, law enforcement and national security.

Graham Farrant, Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar, further said:

Alongside the key role we already play in the property market, our transformation will help support the UK in developing a vibrant and innovative digital economy. Our plans not only involve the digitisation of our existing services but we will explore how, through new digital technology, we can help to potentially release even more value from the Land Register.

Notes to Editor:

  1. Access the HM Land Registry Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17.

  2. In the 2016 Autumn Statement, it was announced that HM Land Registry should focus on becoming a more digital data-driven registration business in the public sector.

  3. In February 2017, the Housing White Paper ‘Fixing our broken housing market’ committed HM Land Registry to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data with an aim to achieve comprehensive registration of land in England and Wales by 2030.

  4. HM Land Registry’s mission is to guarantee and protect property rights in England and Wales.

  5. As a government department established in 1862, executive agency and trading fund responsible to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, HM Land Registry keeps and maintains the Land Register for England and Wales. The Land Register has been open to public inspection since 1990.

  6. With the largest transactional property database of its kind detailing more than 24 million titles, HM Land Registry underpins the economy by safeguarding ownership of many billions of pounds worth of property.

  7. For further information about HM Land Registry visit www.gov.uk/land-registry.

  8. Follow us on Twitter @HMLandRegistry and find us on our blog, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Published 18 July 2017