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April 15, 2009    

Land Registry hikes fees to make ends meet

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by Gill Montia
Land Registry hikes fees to make ends meet

A victim of the housing market downturn, the Land Registry is increasing its registration fees for properties in England and Wales.

From 6th July the cost of registering an average first-time buyer property worth £100,000 will rise from £100 to £130.

The fee for a home worth £150,000 is increasing from £150 to £200, while registration of a one million pound residence will cost £550 rather than the current £420.

The cost of conveyancing essentials such as official searches and copies of title plans will also increase, with the fee for a postal search rising from £6 to £8.

The government body says falling property sales resulted in an operating loss of £148 million in 2008/9 and the hike in charges comes alongside other cost-cutting measures, including a voluntary redundancy scheme and plans to merge offices.

Land Registry finance director, Heather Foster, explains: “Whilst these measures have helped to keep increases as small as possible, an increase is unavoidable.”

Ms Foster is confident that higher fees will not impact on the recovery of the UK housing market, “especially in the context of interest rates at historically low levels and lower house prices”.

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